Employment barriers remain a significant obstacle to reintegration for the millions of men and women with a criminal conviction. In Texas, state law prevents these individiuals from getting trade licenses to work in over 100 occupations—barbers, plumbers, and real estate agents to name a few. This is not serving the best interests of Texas citizens. If Texas continues to lock people out of public access, denying them the opportunity to give back to Lone Star communities, the state will continue to miss out on their positive contributions and achievements.

Prison Fellowship is currently working to remove unnecessary employment barriers in Texas by advocating to reform state occupational licensing laws. Join our efforts and sign the petition to encourage lawmakers and employers to give returning citizens a chance to compete in the job market.

Our History of Advocacy in Texas




  • 1 in 24 adults in the criminal justice system
  • Taxpayer burden: $21,390 per prisoner per year
  • Adults in prison: 168,280
  • Adults in jail: 67,396
  • Adults on probation: 405,653
  • Adults on Parole: 112,288
  • Rate of juveniles (per 100,000) in residential placement: 175
*Statistics generated from reports by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons 2000-2011; Probation and Parole in the United States (2013); Prisoners in 2013, Vera Institute of Justice (The Price of Prisons), 2010 CensusOffice of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Provention 2011 and various department of corrections' websites.


Join the 2016 "Restorative Punishment:  Think Outside the Bars" campaign. Find out where your state stands on sentencing reform, the use of drug courts, and restorative justice programs. This research and our advocate "how-to" materials can equip you to take action that will advance justice reforms in your state!


Think Outside the Bars


For over 30 years, Prison Fellowship has been active on Capitol Hill, lobbying Congress to support reforms to make communities safer, respect victims, and transform lives. Prison Fellowship played a leading role in working with Members of Congress to pass groundbreaking criminal justice reforms, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993), the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (2000), the Prison Rape Elimination Act (2000), Second Chance Act (2008), and the Fair Sentencing Act (2010), among others. Additionally, Prison Fellowship and the Texas Public Policy Foundation co-founded Right on Crime, a growing movement of conservatives committed to justice reform.


Prison Fellowship seeks a restorative approach to punishment where those harmed by crime are allowed to be a part of the process, those who offended are given a chance to make amends, and men and women are not incarcerated for longer than the wrongs committed would warrant.


A restorative approach to crime seeks to do more than warehouse people convicted of crimes. It means holding prisoners accountable to accept responsibility for the harm they have caused to their victims, and to take steps to make amends and rebuild trust with their communities.


Crime doesn't just affect the perpetrators and victims, it also injures the community. A restorative justice approach considers these harms and engages communities in solutions, promoting safety by using proven crime reduction practices while protecting individual liberty.