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Increasingly, laws and policies are being enacted to restrict persons with a felony conviction (particularly convictions for drug offenses) from employment, receipt of welfare benefits, access to public housing, and eligibility for student loans for higher education. Such collateral penalties place substantial barriers to an individual's social and economic advancement.


Collateral Consequences News
November 4, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Investigation reveals arbitrary process of voting rights restoration

Florida: Jeb Bush approved only one-fifth of the 385K applications for civil rights submitted while governor

Iowa: Judge upholds state ban on voting with a felony conviction

National: Rep. Jeffries proposes bill to restore voting rights in federal elections

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on felony disenfranchisement: "Let them vote."

International: New Zealand High Court rules against blanket ban on prison voting 

October 29, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Budget Remedies to Address Mass Incarceration

Budget Remedies to Address Mass Incarceration

Early Start: Legislative Pre-filing

Social Networking for Reform

Other News: Oklahoma, Michigan and New York

This time of year offers advocacy organizations an opportunity to determine policy goals and strengthen the infrastructure necessary to advance reform remedies. Many organizations are in research mode, determining what officials approved in other states and assessing the viability of working towards similar goals in their own jurisdictions. Prior to the start of session many state organizers are convening coalition meetings, discussing points of consensus, and identifying champions for policy goals.

October 19, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Marc Mauer Testifies Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Marc Mauer urges Congress to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, a bipartisan reform bill introduced earlier this month. The legislation would take a number of steps forward to reverse harsh penalties that have come at a ruinous cost to families and taxpayers while producing diminishing returns for public safety.

September 10, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Connecticut Reclassifies Certain Felony Offenses to Misdemeanors

Many state advocates are in the process of getting ready for the next legislative session. Planning may involve organizing strategy meetings or engaging new coalition partners.  Preparing for next year is leading many state advocates to assess policy goals that address mass incarceration and enhance grassroots communication strategies among state-based networks. 

Reclassifying Felony Offenses:

Scaling Back Mandatory Minimums:

Other News: Alabama, Texas, California, and Tennessee

September 3, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: California expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people

California: State expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people on community supervision 

Maryland: Rally to Unlock the Vote on 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act 

National: Martin O'Malley calls for restoration of voting rights

International: More than 22,000 Canadians behind bars are eligible to vote