Those convicted of crimes know that re-entering society will be difficult. What many don't appreciate is the full extent of the "collateral consequences"--the legal restrictions, disabilities, or disadvantages that are triggered by state or federal convictions and imposed either by their state or the federal system. They rely on their attorneys to advise them about restrictions on employment and licensing (from school bus driver to apprentice electrician), on housing, voting, and holding office, and on requirements for public notification of a criminal record.
This week, the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and the National Institute of Justice launched a new website, fulfilling a Congressional directive to provide lawyers and the general public with this important information. Right now, an inventory of collateral consequences for New York and seven other states is searchable by triggering offense category, consequence category, and keyword. Federal categories and consequences are included, and a helpful User Guide adds to the site's value. The target date for adding all jurisdictions is December 2013. Check out this important new site for attorneys, law students, and clients.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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