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December 3, 2014

New report from Center for American Progress examines barriers for those with criminal records

Images (4)The Center for American Progress this week released this notable new report titled "One Strike and You’re Out: How We Can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records." Here is an excerpts from the report's introduction:

Between 70 million and 100 million Americans — or as many as one in three — have a criminal record. Many have only minor offenses, such as misdemeanors and nonserious infractions; others have only arrests without conviction.  Nonetheless, because of the rise of technology and the ease of accessing data via the Internet — in conjunction with federal and state policy decisions—having even a minor criminal history now carries lifelong barriers that can block successful re-entry and participation in society.  This has broad implications — not only for the millions of individuals who are prevented from moving on with their lives and becoming productive citizens but also for their families, communities, and the national economy.

Today, a criminal record serves as both a direct cause and consequence of poverty.  It is a cause because having a criminal record can present obstacles to employment, housing, public assistance, education, family reunification, and more; convictions can result in monetary debts as well.  It is a consequence due to the growing criminalization of poverty and homelessness.  One recent study finds that our nation’s poverty rate would have dropped by 20 percent between 1980 and 2004 if not for mass incarceration and the subsequent criminal records that haunt people for years after they have paid their debt to society....

Moreover, the challenges associated with having a criminal record come at great cost to the U.S. economy.  Estimates put the cost of employment losses among people with criminal records at as much as $65 billion per year in terms of gross domestic product....

The lifelong consequences of having a criminal record — and the stigma that accompanies one — stand in stark contrast to research on “redemption” that documents that once an individual with a prior nonviolent conviction has stayed crime free for three to four years, that person’s risk of recidivism is no different from the risk of arrest for the general population.

Put differently, people are treated as criminals long after they pose any significant risk of committing further crimes — making it difficult for many to move on with their lives and achieve basic economic security, let alone have a shot at upward mobility.  The United States must therefore craft policies to ensure that Americans with criminal records have a fair shot at making a decent living, providing for their families, and joining the middle class.  This will benefit not only the tens of millions of individuals who face closed doors due to a criminal record but also their families, their communities, and the economy as a whole....

This report offers a road map for the administration and federal agencies, Congress, states and localities, employers, and colleges and universities to ensure that a criminal record no longer presents an intractable barrier to economic security and mobility.

Bipartisan momentum for criminal justice reform is growing, due in part to the enormous costs of mass incarceration, as well as an increased focus on evidencebased approaches to public safety.  Policymakers and opinion leaders of all political stripes are calling for sentencing and prison reform, as well as policies that give people a second chance.  Now is the time to find common ground and enact meaningful solutions to ensure that a criminal record does not consign an individual to a life of poverty.

December 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Permalink


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More evidence of the mental retardation of the lawyer profession, despite high native IQ's, carpet bombed by the criminal cult indoctrination of 1L. The $65 billion is salary loss. It does not include the cost to taxpayer of dependency and idleness, during which these criminals live the Roman Orgy lifestyle, and spawn a dozen gems by a dozen baby mothers. These bastards increase the taxpayer costs exponentially. Their dads live the garbage bag life, where they have to move on from one baby mother's house to another once these idle but highly busy criminals annoy the family enough. Then they place all their possession including the $250 sneakers , and the $400 X-Box in 2 garbage bags, walk down the street to the next baby mother's house.

Here is the remedy.

Prohibit by statute all unrelated crimes from being used in hiring, in tort litigation for negligent hiring. Crush the tort litigators, and deter them with triple the legal costs from personal assets if they sue an employer for an irrelevant negligent hiring. If statutes are not passed, sent employer direct action groups at night. Make all regulations prohibiting the hiring for convictio of a job irrelevant crime void, allow lawsuit against the state by its own citizen. The Eleventh Amendment bars claims from citizens of other states. It was passed stealthily to protect deadbeat states sued by bond holders, to defraud these creditors.

It was extended to the citizens inside the state wrongfully by the Supreme court that could read its plain English. So a statute should be enough to correct that serious error. For those who want to shrink government tort liability is the royal to the shrinkage of the entire enterprise, and not the deterrence of just the defendant. So all state government will be defunded and shrink by the layer predators. They may even be killed as happened to manufaturing, ship building, and all the other industries killed by the lawyer.

The statute should void all torts, all regulations, and all employment decision based on conviction of crime not directly related to the performance of the job. So child sexual molesters should be allowed to be excluded by daycare facilities, but not Home Depot. Someone cashing a bad check may be excluded from a job handling money such as cashier, but not from a day care job. Trucking companies should be allowed to refuse to hire someone convict of a DUI.

This idea should be pilot tested at a county level for 3 years. The uncertainty is that criminals do not specialize. They all have low morals, low fear of punishment, impulsivity, extreme selfishness, and low empathy. So the check bouncer may molest a child in his daycare job. Under no circumstances should any policy be changed without pilot testing.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 4, 2014 12:17:56 AM

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