By Andrew Green
LANSING (WKZO) — The Michigan House this week approved legislation designed to help parolees find employment and stay out of trouble. The plan introduced by State Representative Klint Kesto, of Oakland County, would allow the Michigan Department of Corrections to issue a certificate of employability to parolees who are suitable and skilled candidates for employment once they’re released from incarceration. Kesto says that, with a 78-percent unemployment rate among Michigan prison parolees, something’s got to be done to help these people get jobs to help keep communities safe.
“The MDOC will issue a certificate of employability based on the skill of the prisoner upon his release, or upon his being put on parole,” Kesto said. “What are those skills? Computer operation, horticulture, electronics, welding, building trades, auto mechanices. Any skilled trade that they learn while they are incarcerated.”
The Department of Corrections will issue the certificates within 30 days of a parolee’s release. If the worker has any misconduct issues prior to release, or if they commit a crime after being released, the state has the power to revoke the certificates. The legislation now goes on to the Michigan Senate.