For Immediate Release: Governor Brown signs landmark legislation to remove barriers to licensing and decrease recidivism

October 1, 2018
Media Advisory For Immediate Release October 1, 2018 Contact: Jael Myrick, Program Coordinator, Clean Slate 510-269-6696 or 510-932-5715, Governor Brown signs landmark legislation to remove barriers to licensing and decrease recidivism Berkeley, CA—This weekend, Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown signed AB 2138, authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu and Evan Low, to remove barriers for occupational licensing for close to 8 million Californians living with criminal records. AB 2138 was written by attorneys at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), with the support of a coalition of organizations, including Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, Root & Rebound, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, PolicyLink, the Alliance for Boys & Men of Color, and many more. AB 2138 opens pathways to family-sustaining careers to millions of Californians who have past criminal justice contact.  The bill creates a seven-year washout period after which crimes that are not serious felonies, sex offenses, or relevant financial crimes cannot be considered by licensing agencies. It also eliminates requirements that applicants self-disclose the details of their criminal history record prior to issuance of the California Department of Justice background check, freeing applicants from an unfair “candor trap” and refocusing agencies on the facts of an applicant’s record. AB 2138 sets out criteria for rehabilitation and bans the use of dismissed convictions or non-conviction acts to deny licensure. Studies have shown that States with more open processes for occupational licensing have dramatically lower recidivism rates.  Studies also show that people with criminal records older than six years are only marginally more likely to commit a crime than one with no record at all. At EBCLC, we have seen many clients denied licenses to work in jobs they are qualified to perform due to old or irrelevant criminal records. In some cases, people were denied licenses for jobs they have performed successfully for years in the past without incident, simply because of a  conviction for a minor offense unrelated to their job. With AB 2138, Californians with criminal records will be able to access licenses for close to 40 occupations they were previously barred from or very unlikely to receive. Covered occupations range from automotive repair to psychology to cosmetology. The signing of AB 2138 is a huge victory for all Californians. Assemblymember David Chiu will be joining EBCLC and the sponsors of this bill for a Press availability at 11:30 this morning:
  • WHERE: The Freedom and Movement Center 4400 Market Street Oakland, CA 94608
  • WHEN: October 1, 2018 at 11:30 AM
  Download this release here.