Collateral consequences and the transforming effect of the drug war
Amid last week’s torrent of commentary about the downstream effects of the punitive policies of the 1990s came this extraordinary interview with David Simon of the Wire, who attributes the breakdown of community in Baltimore to the aggressive abuse of official discretion in the drug war. While Simon’s remarks are not directly related to collateral consequences, it is not hard to trace to the same source the regime of punitive laws and policies that now bars people with a criminal record from benefits and opportunities affecting literally every aspect of daily life.
Case in point, from an NPR report aired last week: Tyrone Peake, trained as a drug counselor, is barred for life from working at a nursing home or long-term care facility in the State of Pennsylvania because of his 1981 teenage conviction for attempted car theft for which he received probation. See Carrie Johnson, “Can’t Get A Job Because Of A Criminal Record? A Lawsuit Is Trying To Change That,” April 30, 2015.
Dismantling what Jack Chin has called “the new civil death,” like rebuilding trust between police and community, is the work of the next decade.
- “More Justice and Less Harm: Reinventing Access to Criminal History Records” - July 10, 2017
- National law reform proposal on collateral consequences - May 16, 2017
- Scholarship round-up II – two new articles by Jack Chin - April 13, 2017
- Restrictions on access to criminal records: A national survey - March 9, 2017
- When does the Second Amendment protect a convicted person’s right to bear arms? - September 20, 2016
- Law firm steps up to aid reentry - August 11, 2016
- What (if anything) does the Virginia voting rights decision tell us about the president’s pardon power? - July 24, 2016
- “Divergent moral vision” — Collateral consequences in Europe and the U.S. - July 19, 2016
- Collateral consequences: punishment or regulation? - June 23, 2016
- “Vermont sheriff risks his career by hiring a sex offender” - May 5, 2016