Academy for Justice, A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform (Erik Luna ed., 2017, Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017 Last revised: 5 Aug 2017
Date Written: March 13, 2017
For many people convicted of crime, the greatest effect will not be imprisonment, but being marked as a criminal and subjected to collateral consequences. Consequences can include loss of civil rights, public benefits, and ineligibility for employment, licenses, and permits. Often applicable for life, the United States, the 50 states, and their agencies and subdivisions impose collateral consequences based on convictions from any jurisdiction. Collateral consequences are so numerous and scattered as to be virtually uncountable. In recent years, the American Law Institute, ABA, and Uniform Law Commission all have proposed reforms.
Collateral consequences should be:
(1) collected so that defendants, lawyers, judges and policymakers can know what they are;
(2) incorporated into counseling, plea bargaining, sentencing and other aspects of the criminal process;
(3) subject to relief so that individuals can pursue law-abiding lives, and regain equal status; and
(4) limited to those that evidence shows reasonably promote public safety.
Keywords: collateral consequences, criminal conviction, pardon, expungement, civil disabilities
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