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Gov. Newsom signs bill paving way for inmate firefighters to become professional firefighters

newsom inmate firefighter bill
Gavin Newsom

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION) Gov. Gavin Newsom said he has signed a bill that could allow inmates who have battled fires while incarcerated to become professional firefighters after their release.

Assembly Bill 2147, which was coauthored by Assemblymembers Robert Rivas and Mark Stone, would provide relief for inmate firefighters to have their records expunged, which would allow them to become professional firefighters when they are released.

“Signing AB 2147 into law is about giving second chances. To correct is to right a wrong;  to rehabilitate is to restore,” said Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes, who authored the bill. “Rehabilitation without strategies to ensure the formerly incarcerated have a career is a pathway to recidivism. We must get serious about providing pathways for those that show the determination to turn their lives around.”

The Governor's Office said many former inmate firefighters experience difficulties when trying to get licenses or employment because of their criminal records. The bill allows them to file a petition in county court to expunge their records and waive parole time.

It does not apply to people convicted of certain violent felonies and sex offences.

Read the text of the bill here.

California News / Top Stories / Wildfires

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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