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September 11, 2009

Looking at collateral consequences from "race and dignity" perspective

I just noticed on SSRN this new piece, titled "Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions: Confronting Issues of Race and Dignity," by Michael Pinard. Here is the abstract:

This article explores the racial dimensions of the various collateral consequences that attach to criminal convictions in the United States. The consequences include ineligibility for public and government-assisted housing, public benefits and various forms of employment, as well as civic exclusions such as ineligibility for jury service and felon disenfranchisement. To test its hypothesis that these penalties, both historically and contemporarily, are rooted in race, the article looks to England and Wales, Canada and South Africa. These countries have criminal justice systems similar to the United States’, have been influenced significantly by United States’ criminal justice practices in recent years, have turned to increasingly punitive punishment schemes and have histories of disproportionately incarcerating people of color. This article is the first that offers a detailed comparative examination of collateral consequences. The examination finds that the consequences in the United States are harsher and more pervasive than those in these other countries. It also shows that Canada and South Africa have articulated broad dignity protections for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals that are influenced by human rights notions of rights and privileges. Canada, in particular, has employed mechanisms to ease racial disparities in incarceration. Drawing lessons from these countries, the article offers steps to ease the legal burdens placed on individuals with criminal records in the United States, as well as to lessen the disproportionate impact these post-sentence consequences have on individuals and communities of color.

September 11, 2009 at 08:08 AM | Permalink

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Comments

No mention of the race and dignity of crime victims. Loose black predators on black communities receiving little police protection. Increase the 6 fold burden of murder victimization already carried by these folks. The left cares only about the dignity of evil people. Why? They are the good customers of government. Striving poor people are not good customers of government.

That makes the lawyer an accomplice to evil and crime. The pretextual nonsense masking ideology makes the lawyer hypocritical as well as an accomplice and enabler of evil.

South Africa has a very high rate of murder. Imitate those left wing ideologues, have Soweto in Ohio.

I cannot believe the left wing academic is naive. I think they have scienter of the self-evident.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 12, 2009 11:42:48 AM

Mostly, the important thing is to realize is that the law is just black and white, it doesn't see what happens to ex-offenders after they're released. The anger supersedes societies willing to forgive an individual who doesn't deserve disenfranchisement, because he/she isn't a murderer, rapist, or an trader that the Constitution doesn't mention.
All people have committed some type of crime when we 'slander someone, steal a piece of candy, crossed the street when the light is still red, have littered sidewalks, littered other yards instead of our own, etc.' So, if an individual is guilty of these offenses and have been convicted several times over, because the offender truely believes that the law is petty over such offences, yet because numerous times over they find themselves doing time, now the small offence has turn to be big, afterwards, he/she is released but can't find an apartment to live, nor can employment be found (quickly), and can't get loans all because of an offence that occurred years ago. Is it right that prospective employers are allowed to look into ones record and decide to discriminate that person regardless if that person has the skills the employer say is required. So as a society, do we just encourage individuals to NOT give up hope? But, yet now the bills he/she left behind are haunting them, with no ability to pay back what he/she owes due to the fact, that nobody wants a 'felon' to work with their company? Or nobody wants a 'felon' to rent from them? A felon this, and or felon that, a felon is this an this an that, and all we do is proclaim to their faces, "you should have thought about this before you did what you did?"
Like 10 yrs. ago or maybe 15 yrs or more.

Posted by: citchus | Oct 9, 2009 5:14:50 PM

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