LANSING (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to require that the Michigan Department of Corrections have a policy allowing for the hiring of felons.

State law prohibits people convicted of felonies from being employed in the prison agency. It apparently was a reaction to fears over the state hiring felons as corrections officers.

The legislation, signed Thursday, makes an exception if the job doesn’t risk public safety or the operation of the department. An extensive background check and written approval from the department director will be required.

The Corrections Department wants to lead by example because many employers automatically exclude hiring people with a record.

Snyder says better preparing felons for the workforce “is important to help ensure their successful re-entry into society.”

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