Sanctioned Unemployment: The Impact of Occupational Licensing Restrictions on Ex-Offenders

The broad discretion given to licensing boards to approve or deny licensure leads to biased and arbitrary decision-making, creating barriers to employment for people with criminal records. This article calls for reform in three areas: clearly defining ‘moral character’ with guidelines for individually assessing a conviction and its genuine risk to public safety; identifying direct correlation between an occupation and the conviction if considering denying a license; and ensuring licensure for people who received trade training while incarcerated.


Zhang, A. (2018). Sanctioned Unemployment: The Impact of Occupational Licensing Restrictions on Ex-Offenders. Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, 57. http://bi.galegroup.com/global/article/GALE%7CA550168632?u=umuser&sid=summon

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