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Policy Brief Mechanisms for Advancing Public Health

Employment Tax Incentives and Ex-Offender Health

November 8, 2017


One of the key barriers to improving the health status of ex-offenders is the inability to secure employment because of their conviction status.  Tax incentives, in the form of tax credits, deductions or exemptions, can be effective legal interventions for advancing the public’s health.

Because of their conviction status, many ex-offenders have difficulty obtaining employment. Unemployment is associated with a number of negative health results, including mental health issues like depression, and lack of medical coverage.  Also, unemployment correlates with poverty, which limits access to healthy food and housing.

Employment Tax Incentives and Ex-Offender Health

This Policy Brief examines ways in which states are using tax deductions to encourage employers to hire individuals from chronically unemployed populations, including ex-offenders.