Iowa officials seek to help inmates with new certificate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa officials seek to help inmates with new certificate

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(AP) -

Iowa correctional officials are revamping their process for issuing a little-known certificate aimed at helping inmates secure jobs when they leave prison.

The Iowa Board of Parole and the Iowa Department of Corrections began a formal process this summer to propose new language in state code on how a certificate of employability is issued to an inmate who completes certain skills training in prison.

The certificate has been available for years, but a parole official told lawmakers recently that no certificate has ever been issued because no inmate has ever completed a required application form.

The proposed changes would allow eligible inmates to automatically receive the certificate.

Experts and former inmates applaud the proposed change, which could go into effect this year.

They're also cautiously optimistic because there are several barriers to employment for former inmates.

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