The American Bar Association and Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice have launched a new website that allows users search a database of federal and state laws hindering people with criminal records from being able to do basic things in their re-entering society like finding work and or a place to live. ( Here )
The Blog of Legal Times yesterday posted that the website currently includes information on federal aspects, and state laws in Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, South Carolina and New York. The remaining states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands should be included within the next 18 months or so administrators say.
In 2003, the project is backgrounded, "the ABA urged jurisdictions to identify and codify collateral sanctions and to limit the imposition of discretionary disqualifications. A few years later the Uniform Law Commission made similar recommendations. Section 4 of the Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act requires each jurisdiction to compile and make available on the internet an inventory of any provision in the state constitution, statutes, and administrative rules that create collateral sanctions and authorize disqualifications with citations and short descriptions.
"Understanding that this would be a time-consuming and expensive task for states acting independently, and that the absence of an inventory would likely discourage enactments, the drafters of the Uniform Act approached Congress for assistance., and that resulted in a provision in the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007 directing the National Institute of Justice to collect and analyze the collateral consequences for each U.S. jurisdiction, The ABA Criminal Justice Section won the contract to perform this work, and the result is the National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction here presented.
"Through the National Inventory, each jurisdiction's collateral consequences will be made accessible to the public through a website that can be searched and sorted by categories and keywords. The website will make it possible for criminal and civil lawyers to determine which collateral consequences are triggered by particular categories of offenses, for affected individuals to understand the limits on their rights and opportunities, and for lawmakers and policy advocates to understand the full measure of a jurisdiction’s sanctions and disqualifications. It will also be possible through the website to perform inter-jurisdictional comparisons and national analyses."
Website's Users' Guide
Reminder that Ohio's "collateral reform" legislation (Senate Bill 337) goes into effect on September 28th. 2012 (See Monday's post).