48,000. That is the approximate number of collateral consequences – specific legal restrictions, generalized discriminated and the overall social stigma – returning citizens face. These collateral consequences can adversely impact access to housing, employment, occupational licensing, education, public benefits and voting.
Last month NACDL partnered with Prison Fellowship to celebrate April 2017 as Second Chance Month. NACDL believes that individuals with an arrest or conviction should be afforded a second chance to become productive members of society without the stigma of collateral consequences that limit their potential. The U.S. Senate recently passed S. Res. 129 declaring April 2017 as Second Chance Month.
Currently pending in Congress are two opportunities to ease the collateral consequences of a conviction – the Fair Chance Act (H.R. 1905/S. 842) and the REDEEM Act (H.R. 1906/S. 827). The Fair Chance Act would “ban the box” at the federal level. The REDEEM Act, or the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act, would create a mechanism for adults and youth to have their records expunged or sealed.
I’d encourage readers to check out various good sites which discuss Restorative Justice as an alternative to revenge.