Nearly one in four jobs in the U.S. require a government-issued license. Yet many people with a criminal record are prohibited from receiving occupational licenses or discouraged from seeking jobs in licensed fields.

Barriers to work can have devastating effects on people with criminal records, but fair chance licensing legislation can reduce these barriers. View our maps to see which states are making changes.

Hear firsthand accounts from people who have been prevented from getting occupational licenses due to their criminal records.

Hear from one state representative who is advancing fair chance licensing laws in his state.

View our 14 fair chance licensing maps that show the strategies states are adopting to advance fair chance licensing.

Project Credits

Writing: Josh Gaines, Chidi Umez-Rowley, CSG Justice Center

Research: Josh Gaines, Martin Harris, Korey Johnson, CSG Justice Center

Advising: Le’Ann Duran, Nicole Jarrett, Shannon Moriarty, CSG Justice Center

Editing: Leslie Griffin, CSG Justice Center

Design: Michael Bierman

Web Development: eleventy marketing group

Public Affairs: Ruvi Lopez, Amelia Vorpahl, CSG Justice Center

Video Production: Top Notch Cinema, Zero Gravity, ThinkTV


This project was conducted with support from Arnold Ventures. We would also like to thank the people who appeared in the project videos: Nick Aponte, Lester Young, and State Representative Kyle Koehler.