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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Defender Toolkit: Using Knowledge of Collateral Consequences to Get Better Results in the Criminal Case

  • Organization: The Bronx Defenders
  • Document Type: Training materials
  • Date Created: Wednesday, March 28, 2007
  • Submitted: Wednesday, March 28, 2007
  • Attachment(s): LINK

From the moment of arrest, people are in danger of losing hard-earned jobs, stable housing, basic public benefits, and even their right to live in this country. Recently, this landscape has changed drastically for the worse. The steady accretion of collateral sanctions has combined with the exponential increase in the availability of criminal history data to create a "perfect storm."

Recognizing this landscape, we must redefine "reentry" as a process that begins at arrest and continues through community reintegration. This shift in the paradigm of reentry and collateral consequences highlights the substantial role that criminal defense attorneys can play in the process and expands the focus beyond incarceration, so that it encompasses the consequences of criminalization faced by individuals from the moment they come in contact with the criminal justice system.

Adapted from McGregor Smyth, Holistic Is Not a Bad Word: A Criminal Defense Attorney's Guide to Using Invisible Punishments As An Advocacy Strategy, 36 U. Tol. L. Rev. 479 (2005) (

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