Governments should establish tax credits for employers who hire individuals with criminal records, based on a percentage of qualified wages. The credits should be phased in over time to encourage long-term and stable employment, and should accompany a push to provide apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and work-based learning arrangements for these individuals. Obtaining meaningful employment early after returning from prison is one of the key factors in reducing recidivism and promoting independence.
California offers tax credits equal to 50 percent of qualified wages in the first year of employment for individuals with criminal records. The credit decreases by 10 percent of wages each year for the next four years.