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Maryland

Mississippi

Final grade: B

Exclusion Grade

D

Relevance Grade

A-

Due Process Grade

A+

Strengths

  • Strong protections for due process.
  • Bans agencies from using vague standards like “moral turpitude” and “good character” to disqualify applicants.

Areas for Improvement

  • Prevent agencies from considering old convictions and arrest records.
  • Extend state’s protections to all licenses.

Following wide-ranging reforms in 2019, Mississippi now has some of the best laws in the country for ex-offenders seeking licenses, earning a B for its final grade. It is also just one of two states that earns a perfect score in the Due Process category. However, the new law does not affect statutes that automatically deny licenses based on someone’s criminal record. As a result, multiple licenses, mainly in the medical, financial, and security sectors, remain unaffected.

Statute: Miss. Code Ann. §§ 73-77-1 to 73-77-11 (2019)

Statute:

Exclusion

Overarching ban on blanket bans Yes, but excludes many medical, financial, and security licenses
Ban on considering arrest records No
Ban on considering post-conviction relief records No
Time limit No limit
Ban on vague, discretionary character standards Yes

Relevance

Relationship between the crime and the license sought "Specific and directly relate"
Required factors for consideration
Rehabilitation Yes
Time elapsed since crime was committed Yes
Age when crime was committed No
Employment History No
Testimonials No

Due Process

Petition Process Yes
Burden of Proof State bears burden of proof and requires clear and convincing evidence to deny
Right to appeal Yes
Written notice requirement Yes
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