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September 24, 2004

So much "collateral" work to do

I have on-line access at the University of Toledo College of Law just after the conclusion of this conference on "The Legal Barriers to Reentry in Ohio: Collateral Sanctions in Theory and Practice." The event was very well-run and I learned quite a lot about the national and Ohio stories of collateral sanctions. Though the folks at the Sentencing Project here provide, better than I can, a full background on these pressing issues, I came away from the conference with a renewed apprecition of the importance of, and challenges of, addressing and reforming the sometimes unknown and yet always consequential collateral legal sanctions which flow from criminal convictions.

For the conference, students on the Toledo Law Review prepared a chart which detailed that there was a total of all 359 (!) collateral penalties and disqualifications in the Ohio code alone. (And, of course, one main point of this conference was to highlight that, in contrast to the ABA's recommendation, most of these collateral sanctions do not appear in the criminal code.) Speakers at the conference, which included practitioners, policymakers and scholars, detailed the many ways in which these law and related social realities pose problems with America being, in President Bush's words, "the land of second chance." President Bush is to be praised for discussing these re-entry issues in his 2004 State of the Union address, and I wonder what has become of his proposal for "a four-year, $300 million prisoner re-entry initiative to expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing, and to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups."

September 24, 2004 at 02:26 PM | Permalink


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The US DOJ recently awarded $100 million to various departments of correction as part of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. The Ohio Dep't of Rehab. and Corr. will receive almost $2 million to develop and implement a Community-Oriented Reentry(CORE)Project.

Federal reentry legislation, called the Second Chance Act, was introduced in the House earlier in the summer (HR 4676). Senators Brownback and Santorum introduced a Senate version (S 2789) on September 10. The Act would provide national resources to develop reentry initiatives.

Posted by: Greg Siegfried | Sep 28, 2004 5:27:23 PM

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