TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida inmates could work toward licensure in state-regulated professions while incarcerated, under a bill advanced Tuesday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, said her bill (SB 194) would help inmates work toward licenses when they take prison courses that meet curriculum requirements for professions regulated by the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
The proposal would not require state prisons to offer new courses, Taddeo said.
Instead, it would require current courses offered by the Florida Department of Corrections to implement plans so inmates could apply credits toward licensure in professions such as cosmetology.
"My intent is not to increase resources (for education programs) but to address the current training or any training that they get done to make sure that they get the license," Taddeo said.
Taddeo said the proposal could help reduce the chances of inmates returning to prison after release, adding that it would be a state investment.
Taddeo's bill would need approval from two more Senate committees.
A House version has not been filed as lawmakers prepare for the 2020 session, which starts Jan. 14.