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A 2011 study of the formerly incarcerated found that employment was the single most important factor in decreasing recidivism. 1Mark T. Berg and Beth M. Huebner, “Reentry and the Ties that Bind: An Examination of Social Ties, Employment, and Recidivism, Justice Quarterly (28), 2011: 382-410.
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Recidivism rates were nearly cut in half for former inmates who have full-time jobs compared with those who are unemployed. 2Jake Cronin, Institute of Public Policy, Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri
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Statewide rates of recidivism range from about 31% to 71%, but the recidivism rates for formerly incarcerated people who found employment shortly after their release is less than 9%. 3Real Clear Politics
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Employing 100 previously incarcerated will increase their lifetime earnings by $55 million. 4“Economic Benefits of Employing Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia, PA: Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, 2011.
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Employing 100 previously incarcerated people will increase their income tax contributions by $1.9 million and boost sales tax revenues by $770,000. 5“Economic Benefits of Employing Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia, PA: Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, 2011.
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Employing 100 previously incarcerated people will save millions of dollars annually by keeping them out of the criminal justice system. 6“Economic Benefits of Employing Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia, PA: Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, 2011.
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A study of “help wanted” advertisements in Virginia found that just 8.23% of employers were open to hiring an applicant with a record. 7Simone Ispa-Landa & Charles E. Loeffler, “Indefinite Punishment and the Criminal Record: Stigma Reports Among Expungement-seekers in Illinois,”54 Criminology 387(2016)
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Formerly incarcerated persons who maintained employment for one year post-release had only a 16% recidivism rate over three years as compared to a 52% recidivism rate for those who did not maintain employment. 8“Safer Foundation Three-Year Recidivism Study, 2008,” Chicago, IL: 2008.
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Hiring managers report that applicants can compensate for criminal records with their personalities and in-person contact with hiring authorities. 9Sarah Lageson, Mike Vuolo, and Chris Uggen, “Legal Ambiguity in Managerial Assessments of Criminal Records,” Law & Social Inquiry,2014.
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85% - 89% of ex-offenders who are re-arrested are unemployed. 10National Institute of Corrections

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