CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Leasure & Andersen on Certificates of Relief

Peter Leasure and Tia Stevens Andersen (University of South Carolina, College of Arts and Sciences, Students and University of South Carolina) have posted The Effectiveness of Certificates of Relief as Collateral Consequence Relief Mechanisms: An Experimental Study (Yale Law and Policy Review Inter Alia, Vol. 35, No. 11, 2016) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Obtaining employment is difficult for ex-offenders due to the stigma of having a criminal record. In recognition of this difficulty, some state legislatures have created certificates of relief (also known as certificates of recovery), which lift occupational licensing restrictions, limit employer liability for negligent hiring claims, and aim to ensure that employment decisions about certificate holders are made on a case-by-case basis. The current study, which examines Ohio’s program for certificates of relief, presents the results of the first empirical test of the effectiveness of such certificates. This test indicates that having a certificate of relief increases the likelihood of receiving an interview invitation or job offer more than threefold. Importantly, certificate holders and their counterparts with clean criminal backgrounds were nearly equally likely to receive an interview invitation or job offer. These promising preliminary results suggest certificates of relief may be an effective avenue for lessening the stigma of a criminal record for ex-offenders seeking employment.

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