Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

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Jun 05 2013

Public Safety Committee Passes Job Assistance Bill

News Release issued 6/05/13:

SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, announced a vote of 5-0 (1-abstention) on the Job Assistance bill during today’s Committee meeting.

Council Bill 117796 is critical legislation to increase public safety and reduce criminal recidivism by providing job assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals. The committee has worked collaboratively with businesses, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and social justice organizations to achieve this groundbreaking legislation.

“We have listened to the concerns of the small business employer, large businesses and the approximately 100,000 people in our city with records to create legislation that strengthens public safety and improves the employment process,” said Harrell. “The purpose of this legislation is to make Seattle a safer place; a place where we can expect a certain quality of life and feel safe at all times. That is why we made sure that it will not jeopardize any of the safeguards we currently have in place that protect us from violent criminals, dishonesty or unsafe employees,” Harrell added.

The bill is scheduled for a Full Council vote on Monday, June 10, 2013.

“What is important to understand is how this legislation will reduce criminal recidivism and why it is critical for all of us to improve the re-entry experience for those who have committed crimes and are rehabilitated. Not only are they the beneficiaries, but so are we.” Harrell concluded: “It is essential for the City to improve the re-entry experience for those who have committed crimes; data shows that despair and unemployment increases the likelihood of relapse into crime. The cycle needs to be broken.”

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