Ex-Offender Employment Opportunities

NCSL Resources

Ex-Offender Cover

One of the first requirements for an offender who is released from prison is to obtain a job. Employment increases an ex-offender’s opportunities to obtain housing and health care, comply with court-ordered debts such as restitution and child-support, and support himself or herself and family. Having a criminal record may make it more difficult for an ex-offender to find a job, especially a well-paying one. Those who have served time in prison can expect to earn about 40 percent less in annual wages compared to people in similar circumstances who have not spent time in prison, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Center on the States. To improve employment prospects for ex-offenders, states have adopted policies to encourage their employment, addressed employer liability and hiring incentives, expanded eligibility for record-clearing policies, and supported employment training and reentry programs.

 The report covers hiring regulations, employer liability and incentives, record clearing, skills training and reentry services, and federal support.