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Hiring Ex Offenders Essay

3258 words - 14 pages

Hiring Ex-offenders
Everyone deserves a second chance. You should never judge a book by its cover. These are some of the things that should be considered when an employer considers hiring an ex-offender reentering society after release from the prison system. Once a criminal, always a criminal is not always the case. Some ex-offenders have proven to be loyal and trustworthy employees. As well as tax-paying individual who open their own businesses. There are positives and negatives to hiring someone with a criminal background. There are many concerns by employers to hire an ex-offender, such as negligent hiring. An ex offender is a person who has been convicted of criminal offense. ...view middle of the document...

The employments of these ex-offenders not only benefit the individual, the employer but society as well. Employing ex-offenders makes them contributing tax-payers.
Ex offenders comprise a significant group in the job market. It is estimated that ex-convicts make up one third of the job force. Most employers are unaware of the tax incentives, bonding programs, and intermediary organizations currently in place to facilitate employment of returning offenders. Early work experience sometimes leads to wage growth over time, though this has not been particularly true among welfare recipients and others. Employers generally seem interested in the support system that seek to bridge the gap between ex offenders and prospective employers, but need to know more about the programs and how they fit with their needs. Although, many employers like to give a qualified ex offender a second chance, they are averse to taking risks that they feel could threaten their workplace or reputation. In spite of the numerous barriers to employment of ex offenders, there is reason for some degree of optimism.
The United States government created two financial incentive programs to benefit employers who hire ex-offenders. One program gives an employer a tax break of $2,400 once an ex-offender has been hired and has worked for a certain number of hours. The other provides fidelity insurance bonds as an incentive to hire an ex-offender who might normally be considered high risk by mainstream insurance companies.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit available to employers as an incentive to hire individuals from hard to employ target groups. These individuals include ex-offenders within the year released from prison, food stamp recipients between the ages of 18 to 39 or who are veteran, long-term temporary assistance to needy families (TANF) recipients, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, and resident workers in empowerment and renewal communities under the age of 25.
The WOTC can be claimed for any number of employees once deemed eligible. An employer can claim up to $2400 per employee from the federal government and up to $9600 in some state governments. Details include that the ex-offender must be eligible to be certified. If the individual works a minimum of 120 hours but fewer than 400 than the employer can claim up to $1500 in tax credit. If the individual works 400 or more hours, then the employer can claim up to $2400 in tax credits.
Another program is The Federal Bonding Program issues fidelity bonds which serve as insurance policies for employers. Bonding protects an employer in case of theft, forgery, larceny, or embezzlement of money or property by an employee covered by the bond. The bond coverage is usually $5,000-$10,000, free for an employer, and good for up to one year. The bond becomes effective on the individual’s first day of employment. Federal Bonding Program is an employer job hire incentive that guaranteed the...

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