Texas Pays to Train Ex-Convict to be a Barber…Then Denies Him a License
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Lynn Mays’ chance at starting a new, crime-free life was on track before the state of Texas decided to withdraw the opportunity.
A two-time convicted felon for sexual assault, Mays was released from prison in March 2010. Like others with a criminal record, he had trouble gaining employment. So he turned to a state government agency, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, for help.
Officials decided to assist Mays in becoming a barber and authorized the state to pay for his training. The state also covered the costs of his supplies and the fees for taking his licensing exam.
But when it came time to receive his barber’s license, the agency in charge (the Department of Licensing and Regulation) refused to comply—citing the fact Mays was a convicted criminal.
“Barbers have direct contact with members of the general public, often in settings with no one else present, and a person with a predisposition for crimes involving prohibited sexual conduct would have the opportunity to engage in further similar conduct,” the agency said, according to the Austin Statesman.
Mays was dumbfounded over why the state would tell him it was okay to pursue a career as a barber and then keep him from being one.
To Learn More:
State Paid For Convict's Vocational Training, Then Denied Occupational License (by Eric Dexheimer, Austin Statesman)
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