Should First-Time Felons Get a Second Chance?

Feb 5, 2016

A new movement, "Ban the Box," seeks to remove this question from job applications.
Credit PBS

Amber Miller admits she was no angel. She hung out with the wrong crowd. She used drugs.

When she was 20, she went to prison for stealing $30 from her grandmother.

But 12 years later, she is still labeled as a felon. And that's hurt her ability to find work.

A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers is sponsoring a "second chance" bill. It would allow first-time, non-violent felons to ask a judge to expunge their record a certain time after release.

Opponents say the current law serves as a deterrent, and potential employers have a right to know.

Amber has been able to find work, with help from her mother. But she's fighting for other felons who she believes should get a second chance.

Also, we discuss whether passage of right to work and repealing the prevailing wage are good economics, political payback, or both.

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