The Gendered Burdens of Conviction and Collateral Consequences on Employment

25 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2019

See all articles by Joni Hersch

Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt University - Law School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Erin E. Meyers

Vanderbilt University, Law School, Law and Economics, Students

Date Written: April 9, 2019

Abstract

Ex-offenders are subject to a wide range of employment restrictions that limit the ability of individuals with a criminal background to earn a living. This Article argues that women involved in the criminal justice system likely suffer a greater income-related burden from criminal conviction than do men. This disproportionate burden arises in occupations that women typically pursue, both through formal pathways, such as restrictions on occupational licensing, and through informal pathways, such as employers’ unwillingness to hire those with a criminal record. In addition, women have access to far fewer vocational programs while incarcerated. Further exacerbating this burden is that women involved in the criminal justice system tend to be a more vulnerable population and are more likely to be responsible for children than their male counterparts, making legal restrictions on access to public assistance that would support employment more burdensome for women. We propose programs and policies that may ameliorate these gendered income burdens of criminal conviction, including reforms to occupational licensing, improved access to public assistance, reforms to prison labor opportunities, improvements in labor market information sharing, and expanded employer liability protection.

Keywords: criminal justice, prisons, occupational licensing, welfare programs, job training, labor market policy, labor market regulation

JEL Classification: I38, J48, K14

Suggested Citation

Hersch, Joni and Meyers, Erin E., The Gendered Burdens of Conviction and Collateral Consequences on Employment (April 9, 2019). Journal of Legislation, Forthcoming; Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 19-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3397309

Joni Hersch (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7717 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/go/phdlawecon

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Erin E. Meyers

Vanderbilt University, Law School, Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Nashville, TN
United States

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