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September 20, 2012

ABA and NIJ unveil new on-line resource on collateral consequences

As effectively reported in this post at The BLT, the "American Bar Association and a Justice Department unit have launched a new website [here] that allows users to search federal and state laws that hinder people with criminal records from being able to do basic things — like finding work and obtaining housing — to be able to reenter society successfully." Here is more:

The website, run by the ABA and DOJ's National Institute of Justice, is meant to be a resource that allows users to search the collateral consequences they can face in their own state.

Margaret Colgate Love, a Washington-based lawyer and director of the ABA National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction, used the example of a fictitious young man from Texas who wants to become an electrician.  But the man is considering a guilty plea for a small drug crime. A search on the website shows that he is ineligible for an apprentice electrician license with any felony or misdemeanor conviction on his record.

For now, the website includes information on state laws in Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, South Carolina and New York.  The rest of the states will be entered over the next 18 months, administrators say.

This Project Description from the website concludes with this explanation of the resource:

Through the National Inventory [of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC)], each jurisdiction’s collateral consequences will be made accessible to the public through a website that can be searched and sorted by categories and keywords. The website will make it possible for criminal and civil lawyers to determine which collateral consequences are triggered by particular categories of offenses, for affected individuals to understand the limits on their rights and opportunities, and for lawmakers and policy advocates to understand the full measure of a jurisdiction’s sanctions and disqualifications. It will also be possible through the website to perform inter-jurisdictional comparisons and national analyses.

The User Guide posted on the Inventory website contains a set of “frequently asked questions” intended to explain the protocols used in constructing the National Inventory, and the analytical principles and coding conventions used in sorting laws and rules into various categories. A disclaimer states that the information available through the Inventory does not constitute legal advice, that the construction of the database has not included an examination of judicial interpretations, and that it generally describes collateral consequences conservatively, in the sense that ambiguous provisions are interpreted to impose more severe rather than less severe penalties.

Work on the NICCC commenced in early 2012, and it was launched in September 2012 with the collateral consequences from nine states and the federal system. Additional states are being entered into the Inventory database and uploaded to the website as their laws and rules are identified and analyzed. The initial coding effort has a completion date of December 2013, and plans are in the works to secure the Inventory's ongoing maintenance.

September 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink


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A collateral consequence of a criminal consequence should be relevant to the crime, and shown to promote public safety.

If a sex offender applies for a toddler day care job, it should be difficult. If a repeat violent offender applies for a gun license, it should be difficult.

If someone was fined for fishing without a license at age 16, and cannot get a lawyer license at 26, then it is time to start the violence against regulators, and the appellate judges who call that obstacle "regulation" rather than additional punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment for its disproportionality. Violence against the lawyer oppressor and internal traitor has full justification because the Supreme Court has closed off all legal recourse against these collateral consequences.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 21, 2012 12:34:08 AM

Local Bar members can do a great public service by providing a yearly assembly program to all local high schools, about these collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.

The collateral advice would be to remain absolutely silent when interrogated by the police, who are agents of the prosecutor, and not "your friend."

Do not plead guilty to any crime, and fight any charge.Always insist on personal attacks on the prosecutor. Start with total forensic discovery of all personal and work computers of this government thug. Attack the judge as well. Demonize them in their community. Publish all questionable fruits of discovery to the web, so all subsequent defendants can start from there, and deepen their probes. File ethics complaints containing a single utterance or offense. Accumulate dozens, and keep the prosecutor and the judge under investigation for years. To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 21, 2012 12:44:11 AM

The point, SC, is that before this project no one had a computerized inventory of the collateral consequences (except for North Carolina and Ohio) from which to start.

Posted by: Gray R. Proctor | Sep 21, 2012 11:10:06 AM

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