New California law helps former inmate firefighters get jobs

DON THOMPSON Associated Press SACRAMENTO (AP) — California's inmate firefighters will have a shot at becoming professional firefighters once they complete their sentences, under a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Friday. The new law will allow state and county inmates who train as firefighters to seek to erase the criminal records that often are a bar to employment as firefighters or in other professions. The measure "will give those prisoners hope of actually getting a job in the profession that they've been trained," Newsom said as he signed the bill against a backdrop of grey ash and charred trees near Lake Oroville, site of one of the most devastating of the many fires that have charred the state in recent weeks. About 500 inmate firefighters were on the front lines of
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