A Columbus lawmaker wants to give former convicts a better chance of finding work.
Ohio State Sen. Charleta Tarvares wants tax breaks for companies that hire ex-cons, 10TV's Tanisha Mallett reported on Tuesday.
Jonda McCloud, who was arrested for drug trafficking and charged with aggravated possession, supports the idea. She said her criminal record has been a major obstacle in finding a job.
"They hear felony and they assume the worst kind of person there is, but there are all different levels of felonies," McCloud said.
Critics believe job growth should be focused on people who have not broken the law, Mallett reported.
Tarvares was concerned that ex-cons run the risk of returning to crime if they cannot find work. That, Tarvares said, would cost taxpayers more money in the end.
"Do I want to pay $25,000 a year to lock someone up to send them back to prison, or do I want to encourage an employer with $2,400 dollars to hire an ex-offender?" Tarvares asked.
According to Tarvares, 88 percent of Ohio ex-convicts were unemployed in December.
McCloud said it gives ex-offenders a chance to overcome the stigma they often encounter.
"When you are a felon, you are labeled," she said.
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