One of the key barriers to improving the health status of ex-offenders is the inability to secure employment because of their conviction status. 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. 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.
The power to tax is a tool available to all levels of government: federal, state, and local. As a result, it can be utilized in a variety of inventive ways. This brief is the first in a series of policy briefs that examine interesting tax incentives that seek to address critical public health challenges.
This document was developed by Mathew Swinburne, J.D., Associate Director, Network for Public Health Law – Eastern Region Office at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.