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DMC with CJ System; Collateral Consequences; and Legal and Policy Relief Measures Daryl V. Atkinson, Esq. Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "DMC with CJ System; Collateral Consequences; and Legal and Policy Relief Measures Daryl V. Atkinson, Esq. Southern Coalition for Social Justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 DMC with CJ System; Collateral Consequences; and Legal and Policy Relief Measures Daryl V. Atkinson, Esq. Southern Coalition for Social Justice

2 Roadmap for discussion Define and highlight DMC Define and highlight DMC Nationally Nationally North Carolina North Carolina Define and highlight collateral consequences Define and highlight collateral consequences Tour C-CAT Tour C-CAT Overview of SCSJ’s areas of advocacy Overview of SCSJ’s areas of advocacy

3 Racial/Ethnic Disparities Definition Racial disparity exists when the proportion of a racial/ethnic group within the control of the criminal justice system differs from the proportion of such groups in the general population. Racial disparity exists when the proportion of a racial/ethnic group within the control of the criminal justice system differs from the proportion of such groups in the general population. Illegitimate or unwarranted racial disparity results from the dissimilar treatment of similarly situated people based on race. Illegitimate or unwarranted racial disparity results from the dissimilar treatment of similarly situated people based on race.

4 Mass Imprisonment Definition Mass imprisonment: refers to the high rate of imprisonment in the contemporary U.S. Mass imprisonment: refers to the high rate of imprisonment in the contemporary U.S. Two characteristics: Two characteristics: A rate of imprisonment that is markedly above the historical and comparative norm for societies of this type. A rate of imprisonment that is markedly above the historical and comparative norm for societies of this type. Produces both the incarceration of individuals, and becomes the systematic imprisonment of whole groups of the population. Produces both the incarceration of individuals, and becomes the systematic imprisonment of whole groups of the population.

5 Mass Imprisonment The Data 1,512,000 people in prison. 1,512,000 people in prison. 792,000 people in jail. 792,000 people in jail. Gross underestimate of the number of people that come in contact with the jail system. Gross underestimate of the number of people that come in contact with the jail system. Yearly estimates range between 7-10 million people. Yearly estimates range between 7-10 million people. 1 in 100 adults behind bars 1 in 100 adults behind bars ~2.3 million adults prison or jail ~2.3 million adults prison or jail ~230 million adults in U.S. ~230 million adults in U.S.

6 Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment Men in prison or jail Men in prison or jail All men 18 and over 1 in 54 All men 18 and over 1 in 54 White men 18 and over 1 in 106 White men 18 and over 1 in 106 Latino men 18 and over 1 in 36 Latino men 18 and over 1 in 36 Black men 18 and over 1 in 15 Black men 18 and over 1 in 15 Black men in 9 Black men in 9 Black men are ~6% of the U.S population but are ~39% of the male prison population Black men are ~6% of the U.S population but are ~39% of the male prison population

7 Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment

8 Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment North Carolina NC prison population 2012—38,890 NC prison population 2012—38,890 Male—36,294 Male—36,294 Female—2,596 Female—2,596 Black—23,038~57% Black—23,038~57% White—14,222~35% White—14,222~35% American Indian—771~2% American Indian—771~2% Other—2,590~6% Other—2,590~6%

9 Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment NC Counties Halifax—Total population=54,691 Halifax—Total population=54,691 Black—53.2% Black—53.2% White—40% White—40% Prison population=321 Prison population=321 Black—252~78.5% Black—252~78.5% White—64~19.9% White—64~19.9% Ratio Black to White prison population—3.94:1 Ratio Black to White prison population—3.94:1 25.3% difference b/w Black prison and county population 25.3% difference b/w Black prison and county population

10 Mass Criminalization Definition Mass criminalization: refers to the high rate of contact with the criminal justice system in the contemporary U.S. Mass criminalization: refers to the high rate of contact with the criminal justice system in the contemporary U.S. Two characteristics: Two characteristics: A rate of contact with the criminal justice system that is markedly above the historical and comparative norm for societies of this type. A rate of contact with the criminal justice system that is markedly above the historical and comparative norm for societies of this type. Produces both the criminalization of individuals, and becomes the systematic criminalization of whole groups of the population. Produces both the criminalization of individuals, and becomes the systematic criminalization of whole groups of the population.

11 Mass Criminalization The Data ~ 5 million people on probation or parole ~ 5 million people on probation or parole At least 65 million people with a criminal record At least 65 million people with a criminal record ~ 230 million adults in the U.S. ~ 230 million adults in the U.S. ~ 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have a criminal record ~ 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have a criminal record

12 Mass Criminalization The Data NC ~ 104,000 people on probation or parole ~ 104,000 people on probation or parole At least 1.5 million people with a criminal record At least 1.5 million people with a criminal record ~7.3 million adults in NC ~7.3 million adults in NC ~1 in 5 adults in NC have a criminal record ~1 in 5 adults in NC have a criminal record

13 Mass Criminalization The Data

14 Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization

15 Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization North Carolina

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19 Collateral Consequences, Social Stigma, and Defacto Discrimination Collateral consequences: are the indirect consequences that flow from federal and state criminal convictions. Collateral consequences: are the indirect consequences that flow from federal and state criminal convictions. Over the past 30 years, collateral consequences have increased in variety and severity. Over the past 30 years, collateral consequences have increased in variety and severity. They are excluded from the criminal justice process. They are excluded from the criminal justice process. Defendants often plead guilty without knowing about them. Defendants often plead guilty without knowing about them.

20 Collateral Consequences Examples include: Examples include: Felon disenfranchisement Felon disenfranchisement Deportation or removal from the country Deportation or removal from the country Loss of professional and occupational licenses Loss of professional and occupational licenses Loss of public benefits Loss of public benefits Loss of federal financial aid Loss of federal financial aid Loss of public housing Loss of public housing Mandatory registration for people convicted of predatory offenses Mandatory registration for people convicted of predatory offenses Loss of driver’s license Loss of driver’s license Termination of parental rights Termination of parental rights

21 Collateral Consequences In response to the concerns about collateral consequences NC IDS and NC SOG respond with the Collateral Consequence Assessment Tool (C- CAT) In response to the concerns about collateral consequences NC IDS and NC SOG respond with the Collateral Consequence Assessment Tool (C- CAT) C-CAT is a web-based database that allows users to search the consequences associated with specific North Carolina criminal offenses. C-CAT is a web-based database that allows users to search the consequences associated with specific North Carolina criminal offenses. The tool allows indigent defenders to advise their clients about the full ramifications of a criminal conviction. The tool allows indigent defenders to advise their clients about the full ramifications of a criminal conviction.

22 SCSJ Areas of Advocacy Community outreach and education Direct services Public policy advocacy Impact litigation

23 Community Outreach and Education Every mass movement must be led by those most intimately affected by the oppressive system Every mass movement must be led by those most intimately affected by the oppressive system Advocates must engage and educate the community to ensure that the advocacy is always connected to the people. Advocates must engage and educate the community to ensure that the advocacy is always connected to the people. SCSJ provides information to communities impacted by mass criminalization. SCSJ provides information to communities impacted by mass criminalization.

24 Direct Services Reentry legal advocacy project– the goal is to provide services to low income people who have criminal records. Reentry legal advocacy project– the goal is to provide services to low income people who have criminal records. The project serves clients with all types of criminal backgrounds from simple arrests and misdemeanors to multiple felony convictions. The project serves clients with all types of criminal backgrounds from simple arrests and misdemeanors to multiple felony convictions. Legal assistance is offered in the following areas: Legal assistance is offered in the following areas: Drivers license restoration Drivers license restoration Expunging of criminal records Expunging of criminal records Certificates of relief Certificates of relief Employment and occupational licensing opportunities Employment and occupational licensing opportunities Child support issues related to incarceration Child support issues related to incarceration Obtaining public benefits. Obtaining public benefits.

25 Direct Services: Expungement Expungement: is the legal process of erasing a criminal record. Expungement: is the legal process of erasing a criminal record. NC does not have a blanket expungement provision. The state expunges specific crimes if you meet certain criteria. NC does not have a blanket expungement provision. The state expunges specific crimes if you meet certain criteria. Expungement erases officical “state” records however criminal record information may still be available via private databases. Expungement erases officical “state” records however criminal record information may still be available via private databases.

26 Expungement Examples of the categories of crimes NC will expunge Examples of the categories of crimes NC will expunge Misdemeanors committed under the age of 18 Misdemeanors committed under the age of 18 Misdemeanor under age drinking Misdemeanor under age drinking Misdemeanor larceny conviction over 10 years old Misdemeanor larceny conviction over 10 years old Charges that were dismissed or found NG Charges that were dismissed or found NG Nonviolent felonies under 18 Nonviolent felonies under 18 Cyberbullying Cyberbullying

27 Direct Services: Certificates of Relief Certificates of Relief from Disabilities: allows sentencing courts to issue orders that will relieve an individual from one or more collateral consequences. Certificates of Relief from Disabilities: allows sentencing courts to issue orders that will relieve an individual from one or more collateral consequences. 3 major benefits of certificates: Relieves most collateral sanctions Can be used as evidence of rehabilitation Protects employers from negligent hiring lawsuit

28 Public Policy Advocacy: Ban the Box Across the country advocates have been encouraging cities and counties to “ban the box.” Across the country advocates have been encouraging cities and counties to “ban the box.” The “box” is that place on many employment applications that asks whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime. The “box” is that place on many employment applications that asks whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime.

29 What would a “Ban the Box” ordinance accomplish? Remove criminal history questions from the initial employment application Remove criminal history questions from the initial employment application Create a level playing field so people with criminal records can be evaluated on their qualifications Create a level playing field so people with criminal records can be evaluated on their qualifications Facilitate more in-person interviews Facilitate more in-person interviews Give people with criminal records the opportunity to: Give people with criminal records the opportunity to: Check the accuracy of the record Check the accuracy of the record Explain the nature of the crime Explain the nature of the crime Highlight any rehabilitative efforts Highlight any rehabilitative efforts

30 Impact Litigation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII. Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination and facially neutral policies and practices that have a disproportionate impact on certain groups. Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination and facially neutral policies and practices that have a disproportionate impact on certain groups. Using arrest and conviction records to screen for employment is an example of the type of neutral selection criteria that invites Title VII scrutiny. Using arrest and conviction records to screen for employment is an example of the type of neutral selection criteria that invites Title VII scrutiny.

31 Impact Litigation Title VII does not wholly bar the use of criminal records in employment decisions. Title VII does not wholly bar the use of criminal records in employment decisions. Instead, the EEOC has provided a framework for assessing criminal records when making an employment decision. Instead, the EEOC has provided a framework for assessing criminal records when making an employment decision. When making a decision an employer must consider: When making a decision an employer must consider: The nature and gravity of the offense The nature and gravity of the offense The time that has passed since the conviction The time that has passed since the conviction The nature of the job held or sought The nature of the job held or sought

32 Questions and contact information Daryl V. Atkinson Daryl V. Atkinson Staff Attorney Staff Attorney Southern Coalition for Social Justice Southern Coalition for Social Justice ext ext.153


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