Legislation signed to create framework for convicted felons to work at Department of Corrections

A framework to allow individuals with a prior felony conviction to pursue employment at the Michigan Department of Corrections will be created under legislation signed November 27 by Gov. Rick Snyder. Creating opportunities for previous offenders to have successful reentry into society was one of the key priorities outlined in Gov. Snyder’s 2015 special message on criminal justice.

“Reforming our criminal justice system to better prepare those with a previous felony conviction for the workforce is important to help ensure their successful reentry into society,” Snyder said. “This bill calls for the creation of a framework to connect these individuals with employment and skills that will help them become contributing members of Michigan’s workforce and economy.” 

House Bill 4065, sponsored by state Rep. Dave Pagel, directs the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to develop a policy to outline investigative procedures that must be implemented before hiring an individual with a felony record to ensure offering employment does not impact public safety or the operation of MDOC. The bill also allows MDOC to hire an individual with a felony record.

It is now Public Act 191 of 2017.