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Laws Restrict Employment For Ohians With Convictions

photo of prison
Convicted felons make up nearly a million of Ohioans

A quarter of  Ohio jobs are legally off limits for anyone with a criminal conviction, according to a new report from Policy Matters Ohio.

The report finds that as many as one in three Ohioans are barred from certain work due to state laws that restrict access to jobs, housing and civic rights for anyone with a conviction.

Michael Shields is the co-author of this report. He says these laws are too broad and end up hurting businesses as well.

“Having a conviction, and even a felony conviction, does not mean that a person is a bad worker. It’s a poor tool used in its own right for assessment. Factors should include the length of time that’s passed since the conviction, and what steps the person has taken to overcome the conviction that they’ve had in the past.”   

The report recommends that the legislature makes many of these restrictions more targeted.