The bill, AB2147, allows some prisoners who are on the front lines of forest fire prevention to expire their records after serving their sentences.
Without the obstruction of a criminal record, former prisoners can seek employment as firefighters. The Bill excludes people convicted of certain offenses such as murder, kidnapping, rape, arson or death or any offense punished by life imprisonment.
The news comes as California and other West Coast states face devastating wildfires that have already killed 27 people as of Saturday afternoon.
Due to climate change, the number of hot, dry and light thunderstorms in the region has increased in August, increasing the possibility of fire in the area.
Newsom posted an image of him, signing the bill against the backdrop of the burnt forest near Lake Orville, one of the most difficult areas in the state’s wildlife.
Newsom wrote on Twitter, “CA’s Prisoner Firefighter Program is decades old and has long needed improvement.” “Prisoners battling historical fires refused to stand at the front, they should not be denied the right to become professional firefighters later.”
CA’s Prisoner Firefighter Program is decades old and has long needed improvement.
Prisoners battling the historic fire refused to stand at the front, who should not be denied the right to become professional firefighters later.
– Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 11, 2020
Cal Fire trains inmates of the minimum security prison and pays them $ 1 per hour while in the field and $ 2 per day when they are not on duty. The Associated Press. Prisoners also have the ability to reduce their sentences for each day spent fighting the forest of the jungle.
According to the bill, about 800 inmate firefighters helped with the deadly campfire in Battee County and 400 helped with the Kincaid Fire in Napa Valley in 2019.
In August, Cal Fire reported a prisoner fire shortage this year after CThe Department of Prison Reform and Rehabilitation announced its decision to release 17,600 inmates as soon as possible to prevent the spread of coronovirus in prisons, According to CNN.