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Stop blocking people with records from licensing, law group argues

States have been rigid in precluding people with criminal records from gaining licensure in an occupational field, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) says.

In a new report, NELP describes how state occupational licensing barriers have impeded thousands of American citizens from even being considered for jobs they may be qualified to do.

The number of incarcerated people in the United States has grown rapidly over the last three decades and is approaching 3,000,000 people behind bars. Licensed professions make up a large portion of the job market and many people with criminal records either have been a licensed professional or seek jobs in a licensed field.

NELP maintains that it is not only unreasonable to make criminal records an obstacle, in many cases, but it also has a negative impact on job growth and the economy.

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