Earlier this week the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor made two major awards to the Council of State Governments (CSG) to support the development of resources on collateral consequences and second chance programs. The awards aim to build capacity within the advocacy community to assist those seeking restoration of rights and status nationwide.
The first award is a $4.6 million contract awarded by the Labor Department for the development of the National Clean Slate Clearinghouse, a federal initiative first announced by President Obama last November. The Clearinghouse is intended to “build capacity for legal services needed to help with record-cleaning, expungement, and related civil legal services.”
The second award is a $5 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to support the ongoing work of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), a project developed by CSG in 2011 with federal funding earmarked in the Second Chance Act of 2007. One exciting aspect of that award is that it will bring the National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC) into the NRRC fold.
The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences (NICCC), a comprehensive interactive catalog of collateral consequences and relief mechanisms, will soon become a part of the federally funded National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC). The NICCC, described by the Justice Department as an integral part of its Smart on Crime initiative, was developed by the American Bar Association between 2011 and 2014 under a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NRRC, also closely tied to the Administration’s reentry strategy, was established in 2011 by the Council of State Governments and has been supported by grants from a number of federal agencies, including NIJ, and by private foundations. Now the government has decided to consolidate the two projects under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
According to a grant solicitation issued by the BJA earlier this month, bidders for a $5 million grant to administer the NRRC grant must “propose a plan to transfer” the NICCC and keep it up to date at an approximate annual cost of $100,000. The solicitation does not make clear what if any conditions apply to the transfer of the NICCC, or what if any continuing role the ABA would have for its maintenance, and we must assume the government has determined that it should be permanently transferred to whatever organization wins the bid for the NRRC. Bids are due by June 2. Read more