A change in state policy aims to help more offenders get a job when they get out of prison.
The change benefits those studying barbering and cosmetology while behind bars, letting them apply for their professional license up to six months before their release date.
Inmate LaDonna Rice of Evanston says this is giving her a second chance.
"This is a good program, because it teaches you a lot about yourself, and it gives you something to look forward to when you go home. Because you have a (criminal) background, so you're limited to jobs."
Inmate Megan Royer of Peoria says it's giving her a head start in getting back on track.
"We need to provide for our families as soon as we get out there, we need to provide for ourselves, we need to get things in order. Being able to go out into society and have that license in hand, we are able to just start applying for jobs in this field."
Three state corrections facilities offer cosmetology classes and two others that have a barbering program.