Editor’s note: This past year has seen a burgeoning of scholarship dealing with collateral consequences broadly defined, from lawyers, social scientists, and philosophers. CCRC’s good friend Alessandro Corda has selected fifteen notable articles published in 2018-19, with information, links, and abstracts. They are organized into five categories:
(1) Legal collateral consequences
(2) Collateral consequences and criminal procedure
(3) Sex offender registration laws
(4) Informal collateral consequences
(5) Criminal records, expungement, sealing, and other relief mechanisms
A complete and regularly updated collection of scholarship on issues relating to collateral consequences and criminal records can be found on our “Books & Articles” page. From time to time we will preview and comment on new articles, and Alessandro has promised to provide another round-up by the end of the year. We hope he will continue indefinitely in the role of CCRC’s official bibliographer. (A PDF copy of this scholarship round-up is here.)
New York’s venerable certificate of relief scheme, which aims to mitigate the adverse collateral effects of criminal conviction, has served as a blueprint for certificate laws recently adopted in many other states. But are New York’s certificates actually effective at restoring rights and status? That is a question addressed in two new scholarly articles, both of which find that New York’s certificates are frequently inaccessible to their intended beneficiaries and misunderstood both by the officials tasked with issuing them and the employers and licensing boards that should be giving them effect.
Governor Cuomo recently directed reforms in the process for obtaining certificates in response to a report concluding that it has “historically been burdensome and slow.” These articles should be useful in that effort.
Both articles use interviews and anecdotal evidence to shed light on how certificate schemes operate in practice, providing insight into how government officials (including judges and probation officers), employers and convicted individuals interact with the laws (or fail to) in the real world. The increasing popularity of such well-intentioned laws represents an encouraging shift in legislative attitudes about second chances; but, as the articles make clear, they are only as good as their real-world application, which is more limited and less effective than many suppose.