COVID-19: State-by-state resources on how to use the pardon power
At this time of pandemic, we have been following the discussions of how jail, prison, and immigration detention conditions are highly concerning, including the very useful collection of links provided by Professor Doug Berman, the demands published by advocacy organizations, and the collection of policy responses by the Prison Policy Initiative. We agree that every available legal mechanism must be enlisted to secure the release of prisoners and detainees who pose little or no threat to public safety, and whose health and safety are themselves severely threatened by their enforced captivity. This includes the great constitutional powers given to governors and pardon boards. We therefore commend our newly revised pardon resources to advocates and policy makers to support their advocacy and action.
While our pardon-related research focuses primarily on how the power is used to restore rights and status to those who are no longer in prison, much of our information about how the pardon process is structured and operates is relevant to how the power might be used (or is already being used) to commute prison sentences during the pandemic. Our revised pardon resources are part of a major revision of the CCRC Restoration of Rights Project, not only to make sure its information is current in light of the many recent changes in the law, but also reorganizing and revising its resources for clarity and easier access. In the process, we have updated and revamped our state-by-state material on how the pardon process operates in each jurisdiction, noting that the process has become more regular and productive in a few states in the past several years.
Our 50-state pardon comparison is organized into four sections:
- Section 1 provides a chart comparing pardon policy and practice across jurisdictions.
- Section 2 lists jurisdictions by frequency and regularity of their pardon grants.
- Section 3 sorts jurisdictions by how the administration of the power is structured.
- Section 4 provides state-by-state summaries of pardon policy and practice, with links to more detailed analysis and legal citations.
We hope this information will be helpful to advocates across the country as we work to keep all people safe and healthy, including those in our prisons and jails.
- Will restrictions on banking jobs be relaxed for people with a record? - March 25, 2020
- COVID-19: State-by-state resources on how to use the pardon power - March 24, 2020
- New 2019 laws on immigration consequences and driver’s license suspension - February 10, 2020
- New 2019 laws on diversion and other non-conviction dispositions - February 7, 2020
- Record-breaking number of new expungement laws enacted in 2019 - February 6, 2020
- New 2019 laws reduce workplace barriers for people with a criminal record - February 4, 2020
- New 2019 laws restore voting rights in 11 states - January 22, 2020
- Survey of law enforcement access to sealed non-conviction records - June 26, 2019
- CCRC seeking lawyer to work on Restoration of Rights Project - December 10, 2018
- David Schlussel joins CCRC as its first Fellow - November 2, 2018