Criminal Justice Council: End Food Stamp Ban for Drug Felons

A council appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal is recommending that the state lift a lifetime ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions.  

The recommendation was just one of a few the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform made in its annual report released this week.

Thomas Worthy, co-chair of the council, said many other states including Alabama have recently repealed their bans during the time the council first recommended the change two years ago.

According to data compiled by the Marshall Project from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Georgia is only of only six states that still has the full lifetime ban.  

"This is certainly something that the General Assembly should consider especially considering that many of the individuals that suffer from this lifetime ban are children,” Worthy said.

He said many people who are released from prison are often the breadwinners for their families.

The council also recommended expanding “ban the box” initiatives to prevent further barriers to employment regarding professional licenses. The council recommended preventing licensing boards from automatically invalidating or refusing an application for a license because of that person’s felony history.