Friday, August 19, 2016

Delaware: Candidate for Clemency Reform

Delaware 105.9 has a great story on one Kathy McGuiness, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor. She hopes to "simply" the pardon process "so people get the second chance they deserve."

First, she hopes to add the option of online application. She thinks old school hard copies are just fine, but "but having the option is the key."

Second, she notes, "If you apply now, your hearing wouldn't be until March of 2017, so there's things we can do to be a little more efficient."

Third, she thinks the state's clemency board should be more "diverse." So she suggests a Constitutional amendment requiring the addition of "one member to each county and from the City of Wilmington to add greater geographic representation."

Fourth, she would "increase transparency" by "making the Board of Pardons' website more comprehensive to include information like the number of applications filed and returned, the number of hearings held and recommendations made or denied annually." Wow! Make this woman U.S. Pardon Attorney!

Fifth, she she proposes a Second Chance Job Training Program, where the state "would partner with participating employers, which would provide eight weeks of training to someone receiving unemployment benefits. At the end of the eight weeks, an employer could extend a permanent job offer to that individual." She says:
"What would make our program unique in Delaware is I would propose that the employer would initially ban from asking the applicant about their criminal history, so that they could actually be evaluated on their job performance first, and only if they were going to extend that job to be a permanent job, then they would conduct a background check ... That would help create opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals to find jobs ... creating opportunities for someone with this history." 
Delaware's primary is September 13. See story here.

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