SF Plan Would Offer Tax Break for Hiring Felons

Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, October 18, 2011

San Francisco businesses that hire people with felony convictions would get a tax break, under legislation expected to be introduced today.

“Ex-felons are among the most challenged populations in getting work,” said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is crafting the plan.

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The goal is to shave about $10,000 off a business’ companywide payroll tax burden for every new convict it hires full time. The tax relief for companies hiring part-time employees would be less.

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The legislation comes as California is beginning a major overhaul of its criminal justice system, known as realignment, in which tens of thousands of offenders will be diverted from state prisons to local jails and probation programs. {snip}

Studies have shown that ex-offenders who find jobs after release are less likely to end up back behind bars. By some estimates, the recidivism rate is cut in half for former inmates who are employed within six months upon release compared with those who remain jobless.

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The average cost to incarcerate an inmate in county jail is $47,450, according to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which runs the county’s six jails. The expense is about the same in state penitentiary, but the fewer inmates incarcerated the less cost to the taxpayer.

The idea to offer employers tax breaks to hire ex-offenders is not new. The federal government offers tax credits for companies that hire felons and other targeted groups, including long-term welfare recipients and disabled veterans.

The states of Illinois, Iowa and Maryland also have similar programs in place for ex-felons.

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  • Question Diversity

    Various heavily black and Hispanic cities are thinking about prohibiting employers from asking about a job applicant’s felony criminal record in the initial application procedure. You know it won’t stop there — I know it’s not a logical argument, because slippery slopes are illogical, but we know enough from past experience to forecast a future result. This will end up with an employer being de facto required to hire an ex-con, otherwise face a discrimination lawsuit.

    San Francisco is already jumping ahead and taking this next step as using tax credits as a carrot/stick mechanism to encourage “voluntary” employer participation. Yes, “voluntary for now.”

    The rationale is that SF’s streets will soon be flooded with ex-cons because of the spillover effect from the state having to empty out its state prisons — “Less serious” felons (ahem ahem cough cough) will be knocked down to county jails, while “even less serious” felons already doing time in county jail in lieu of state prison will be released.

    On that, I found out on CNN today that if Conrad Murray is found guilty, because of the CA prison emptying program, and the fact that his felony would be involuntary manslaughter, he wouldn’t do a day in state prison, would only do time in a county jail, and because his alleged crime relates to his being a doctor, any felony rap would mean the end of his medical license anyway, so he might not do any time in any lockup.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the small and medium sized businesses in San Francisco are asian owned.

    They have asian way rules about who they hire.

    First close family members, even if they have to bring then from overseas. Next distant relatives.

    Next someone from their church, club, tribe, home village, same university. Next maybe a neighbor or friend of a friend. Always some one of the same sub section of one’s own ethnic group or hometown back in Asia.

    These rules are upheld unto the 4th and 5th generation in America. To hire some perfect stranger when a relative needs a job is just plain wrong in the Asian way, like abandoning your children.

    There are a lot of White gay small businesses in San Francisco. They hire only gays.

    Most of the San Francisco felons are black, loud, aggressive and obnoxious.

    The big companies like PG&E, Macy’s, Magnin’s, Bechtel, Crown Zellerbach, Chevron oil all have their quota of minority females.

    Lots of luck. Hey there Willie Brown and the rest of you black politicians, how’s diversity and White replacement working out for you?

  • Who In Their White Mind?

    Ex-felons are one of the most challenged groups to gain employment. Gee-one has to wonder why that is. Maybe because most started off shoplifting or burglary or larceny, embezzling, money laundering, selling controlled substances, brandishing a firearm, etc… What could go wrong with such trustworthy, upstanding sociopaths? But hey, if blacks were blaming Obama about the unemployment rate amongst themselves as being extreme, this would be one way to combat that.

    If, however, one would do a study on the time such felons would remain employed, you may blink your eyes and that quickly would these felons be replaced… Probably with more felons. Cheap labor. Cheaper than Hondurans and Ecuadoreans.

  • Caleo

    This type of program has been standard operating procedure for at least a decade in NYC.

    I know from first hand experience because I worked at a prop house, the largest on the East coast, and most of the staff on the loading dock were ex cons, all of them violent felons.

    When I asked the asst. manager why they hired so many miscreants, he said the owner of the company got a tax break for every felon she hired.

    It goes on all over the city.

  • (AWG) AVERAGE WHITE GUY

    No wonder San Francisco is going broke with a deficit approaching $400 million.

    http://tinyurl.com/663zlaq

    We read . . .

    The City is looking at more years of massive budget deficits that threaten core services such as policing and street repair, according to a report released Thursday by the City Controller’s Office.

    While the controller lowered The City’s latest deficit projection for the upcoming fiscal year to $306 million from $380 million, the report painted a grim financial picture for the following years.

    There is a $480 million deficit projected for fiscal year 2012-13, and a $642 million deficit projected for fiscal year 2013-14 — which amounts to nearly $800 for every San Franciscan.

    http://goo.gl/7QBBP

  • Anonymous

    “Ex-felons are among the most challenged populations in getting work,” said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is crafting the plan.

    Super! Having worked with felons in the past, I can tell you there is nothing more positive and uplifting than working with people who are shady, aggressive, angry, devious, scream and cuss at customers and constantly volunteer their drama and toxic life unto you. I so much more enjoyed working around felons than I did clean cut, law-abiding employees with a work ethic and a sense of morals. But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a white conservative, evil, working class taxpayer whose only crime in life was getting a speeding ticket recently.

  • Anonymous

    “Having worked with felons in the past, I can tell you there is nothing more positive and uplifting than working with people who are shady, aggressive, angry, devious, scream and cuss at customers and constantly volunteer their drama and toxic life unto you”

    I worked with felons for 10 years who were thrust into my agency by Nixon’s various CETA LEAP EEOP programs. What is really interesting is that no one would know they were felons but for the fact that they insist on telling anyone and every one about it. All the time.

    About 15 years after Reagan thanks be to God got rid of those programs the agency hired a contractor to handle the file room

    It was during Clinton’s welfare to work era. About 30 people, the women were all hard core 3rd generation welfare mamma’s.

    The men were all recruited out of the parole and probation offices and some diversion programs.

    I must say the male felons were gentlemen compared to the screeching, squabbling women. Of course the men smoked dope all the time so they were calm and peaceful. The women could be heard across the street and in the next building. The county signed a 5 year contract so they were there a long time.

    Dope smoking coke dealing felons working in the hall of Justice in the middle of the District Attorney’s office, Police headquarters and the criminal courts.

    Only in America.

  • Anonymous

    “The rationale is that SF’s streets will soon be flooded with ex-cons because of the spillover effect from the state having to empty out its state prisons ”

    The order came from one unelected life long tenured federal Judge. Legacy of English common law is judicial dictatorship.

    Our Judges are worse that all those Emperors, Kings and despots.

    Maybe it is better if the person who makes the law has to enforce the law and find the money to enforce the law.

    Our Judges just issue orders to destroy the school system with a cost of tens of billions of dollars and the schools have to find the money and implement the order.

    Those Emperors and Kings needed to leave a functional Kingdom for their heirs, so they did not spend their terms of office thinking up ways to destroy the country.

  • rockman

    Sodom by the bay. More and more becoming a sink hole of crime and corruption suitable to be destroyed by an earthquake as instant urban renewal

  • Kenelm Digby

    Although the ‘bottom line’ is the King of all business, a bribe of $10,000 would still not induce any self-respecting employer to employ someone whom he instinctively feels is dangerous and untrustworthy.

    Anyway, ex-felons traditionally go into such fields as garbage collection and the worst end of construction work, areas in which the employer doesn’t give a damn about character and only wants to pay for work done.

  • cpascal

    This is going on while there are so many decent and intelligent people standing in the unemployment line. It will get to the point where it’s easier to find a job if you’re a violent criminal than if you’re normal.

  • Loo

    This legeslative lunacy fits right in with the self-destructive American system of State Sponsored Dysgenics, that is rapidly killing Anglo America in its tracks.

  • Sureesh

    I have a good friend (Indian) who owns a dry cleaning shop in SF. I am going to try to convince him to hire a WHITE felon who was convicted for shooting a thug in self defense, in order to get the tax break.

  • Anonymous

    7 — Anonymous wrote at 10:48 PM on October 19:

    “Dope smoking coke dealing felons working in the hall of Justice in the middle of the District Attorney’s office, Police headquarters and the criminal courts.

    Only in America.”

    Actually, that is the basic plot of Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange.”

  • Anonymous

    Affirmative action for blacks has already filled every workplace with felons. Those black government agencies are full of felons.

    I once worked with a White felon. He was on trial for bank robbery when he got the job. He was a bartender. I was a waitress. It was one of those downtown lunch and after work drinking restaurants. Closed on weekends.

    We were so busy we hardly had time to get to know each other, let alone talk about personal lives. But this White bartender insisted on telling everybody that he was a bank robber and on trial for bank robbery.

    Same with the black men. If they are criminals they let everybody know all about it and the rest of their toxic lives.

    Soon there will be a quota for criminals.