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

12 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2017  

Peter Leasure

University of South Carolina, College of Arts and Sciences, Students

Tia Stevens Andersen

University of South Carolina

Date Written: November 7, 2016

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.

Keywords: certificates of relief, certificates of recovery, criminal records, employment, experiment, reentry, collateral consequences of conviction

Suggested Citation

Leasure, Peter and Stevens Andersen, Tia, The Effectiveness of Certificates of Relief as Collateral Consequence Relief Mechanisms: An Experimental Study (November 7, 2016). Yale Law and Policy Review Inter Alia, Vol. 35, No. 11, 2016 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2927460

Peter Leasure (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina, College of Arts and Sciences, Students ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Tia Stevens Andersen

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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