Collateral Consequences News
August 9, 2015 (Business Insider)
There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system
Social science research shows striking racial disparities at nearly every level of the criminal justice system—from arrest rates, to bail amounts, to sentence lengths, to probation hearing outcomes. In eight charts, Business Insider explores what it’s like to be black in the U.S. justice system.
August 7, 2015 (The American Prospect)
The Growing Movement to Restore Voting Rights to Former Felons
On August 6, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, dozens of Baltimore residents rallied and marched alongside community members to protest their disenfranchisement as the result of a former felony conviction.
In May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed a bill which would have granted individuals with felony convictions the right to vote when they return home from prison, rather than making them wait until after their probation and parole sentences have been completed (some sentences can last for decades).
August 5, 2015 (The Los Angeles Times)
California will restore voting rights to 45,000 people on community supervision
California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 felons from casting ballots, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for ex-criminals.
California has until now maintained that state law prohibits felons from voting not only when they are in prison or on parole but also when they are under community supervision.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Tuesday that the state would now back voting rights for felons on community supervision, which is generally overseen by county probation departments.
July 31, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Growing momentum for restoring the right to vote
Florida: Presidential candidates' felony disenfranchisement records
National: Growing momentum for restoring the right to vote
The "war on drugs" and black disenfranchisement
Racial attitudes and ideology affect support for restoration of voting rights
July 1, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Alabama and Texas Address Lifetime Federal Public Benefits Ban
Efforts to reinstate federal ban in other states: Pennsylvana, Missouri, and Maine
Other news: Alaska, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Virginia
In recent months there has been legislative reform to modify the federal food stamp ban in states like Alabama and Texas. In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) imposed a lifetime denial of federal benefits for cash and food assistance to people convicted in state or federal courts of felony drug offenses; the ban is imposed for no other offenses but drug crimes. States can opt out of the federal ban or modify it by authorizing legislative reform. States that have not authorized a legislative remedy include Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming. During 2014, Missouri modified the federal ban and California opted out of the full ban.