Presentation on theme: "Daryl V. Atkinson, Esq. Southern Coalition for Social Justice"— Presentation transcript:
1Daryl V. Atkinson, Esq. Southern Coalition for Social Justice DMC with CJ System; Collateral Consequences; and Legal and Policy Relief MeasuresDaryl V. Atkinson, Esq.Southern Coalition for Social Justice
2Roadmap for discussion Define and highlight DMCNationallyNorth CarolinaDefine and highlight collateral consequencesTour C-CATOverview of SCSJ’s areas of advocacy
3Racial/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.Illegitimate or unwarranted racial disparity results from the dissimilar treatment of similarly situated people based on race.
4Mass Imprisonment Definition Mass imprisonment: refers to the high rate of imprisonment in the contemporary U.S.Two characteristics: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.
5Mass Imprisonment The Data 1,512,000 people in prison.792,000 people in jail.Gross underestimate of the number of people that come in contact with the jail system.Yearly estimates range between 7-10 million people.1 in 100 adults behind bars~2.3 million adults prison or jail~230 million adults in U.S.
6Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment Men in prison or jailAll men 18 and over 1 in 54White men 18 and over 1 in 106Latino men 18 and over 1 in 36Black men 18 and over 1 in 15Black men in 9Black men are ~6% of the U.S population but are ~39% of the male prison populationReference racial disparity definition on slide #12
7Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment 2010 AA population– 38,929,319~3,892,931 current and former AA prisoners in the U.S.
8Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment North Carolina NC prison population 2012—38,890Male—36,294Female—2,596Black—23,038~57%White—14,222~35%American Indian—771~2%Other—2,590~6%
9Racial Disparities in Mass Imprisonment NC Counties Halifax—Total population=54,691Black—53.2%White—40%Prison population=321Black—252~78.5%White—64~19.9%Ratio Black to White prison population—3.94:125.3% difference b/w Black prison and county population
10Mass Criminalization Definition Mass criminalization: refers to the high rate of contact with the criminal justice system in the contemporary U.S.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.Produces both the criminalization of individuals, and becomes the systematic criminalization of whole groups of the population.
11Mass Criminalization The Data ~ 5 million people on probation or paroleAt least 65 million people with a criminal record~ 230 million adults in the U.S.~ 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have a criminal record
12Mass Criminalization The Data NC ~ 104,000 people on probation or paroleAt least 1.5 million people with a criminal record~7.3 million adults in NC~1 in 5 adults in NC have a criminal record
13Mass Criminalization The Data 20 million current and former felons represents ~9% of the adult U.S. population1980—5 million current and former felons; 2010—20 million current and former felons represents 400% increase
14Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization 2010 AA population 38,929,319—current and former AA felons ~9,732,329
15Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization North Carolina
16Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization North Carolina
17Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization North Carolina
18Racial Disparities in Mass Criminalization North Carolina
19Collateral Consequences, Social Stigma, and Defacto Discrimination 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.They are excluded from the criminal justice process.Defendants often plead guilty without knowing about them.According to the ABA there 914 collateral consequence in NC.
20Collateral Consequences Examples include:Felon disenfranchisementDeportation or removal from the countryLoss of professional and occupational licensesLoss of public benefitsLoss of federal financial aidLoss of public housingMandatory registration for people convicted of predatory offensesLoss of driver’s licenseTermination of parental rights
21Collateral Consequences 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.The tool allows indigent defenders to advise their clients about the full ramifications of a criminal conviction.Demonstrate C-CAT
22SCSJ Areas of AdvocacyCommunity outreach and educationDirect servicesPublic policy advocacyImpact litigation
23Community Outreach and Education Every mass movement must be led by those most intimately affected by the oppressive systemAdvocates 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.
24Direct ServicesReentry 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. Legal assistance is offered in the following areas:Drivers license restorationExpunging of criminal recordsCertificates of reliefEmployment and occupational licensing opportunitiesChild support issues related to incarcerationObtaining public benefits.
25Direct Services: Expungement 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.Expungement erases officical “state” records however criminal record information may still be available via private databases.
26Expungement Examples of the categories of crimes NC will expunge Misdemeanors committed under the age of 18Misdemeanor under age drinkingMisdemeanor larceny conviction over 10 years oldCharges that were dismissed or found NGNonviolent felonies under 18Cyberbullying
27Direct 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.3 major benefits of certificates:Relieves most collateral sanctionsCan be used as evidence of rehabilitationProtects employers from negligent hiring lawsuit
28Public Policy Advocacy: 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.
29What would a “Ban the Box” ordinance accomplish? Remove criminal history questions from the initial employment applicationCreate a level playing field so people with criminal records can be evaluated on their qualificationsFacilitate more in-person interviewsGive people with criminal records the opportunity to:Check the accuracy of the recordExplain the nature of the crimeHighlight any rehabilitative efforts
30Impact LitigationTitle 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.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.
31Impact LitigationTitle 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.When making a decision an employer must consider:The nature and gravity of the offenseThe time that has passed since the convictionThe nature of the job held or sought
32Questions and contact informationDaryl V. AtkinsonStaff AttorneySouthern Coalition for Social Justiceext.153