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June 26, 2021

"The Reintegration Agenda During Pandemic: Criminal Record Reforms in 2020"

The title of this post is the title of this notable paper authored by Margaret Colgate Love and David Schlussel now available via SSRN.  Here is its abstract:

This report from the Collateral Consequences Resource Center summarizes legislative efforts and executive orders in 2020 to reduce barriers faced by people with a criminal record in the workplace, at the ballot box, and in many other areas of daily life.  In 2020, 32 states, D.C., and the federal government enacted 106 bills, approved five ballot initiatives, and issued four executive orders to restore rights and opportunities to people with a record.  While states enacted fewer laws than in the preceding two years, evidently because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the fact that there was still considerable progress is testament to a genuine and enduring public commitment to a reintegration agenda. The report provides topical discussions of the reforms, a legislative report card of the most and least productive states, and an appendix documenting the laws by jurisdiction.

June 26, 2021 at 11:29 PM | Permalink


Given how common wrongful convictions are, and how rare it is to have one overturned, why not go all the way and automatically clear the person's record as soon as he has "paid his debt to society," i.e. completed his sentence? Or at the very least, after however many years an ex-convict's risk of conviction drops to that of someone who had never been a convict. Such people are either innocent or reformed. Also, plea bargains should be abolished, as they treat guilty and innocent exactly alike, and are inherently dishonest since they require the defendant to falsely claim he is not being coerced.

Posted by: Keith Lynch | Jun 27, 2021 1:07:01 PM

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