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Internal Exile: Collateral Consequences of Conviction in Federal Laws and Regulations (The ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia)

  • Organization: The ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Monday, February 02, 2009
  • Attachment(s): PDF

This study by The ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is an outgrowth of both entities' work on the effect of a conviction record on the availability of a wide range of benefits and opportunities, which in turn determines a person's likely ability to rebuild his or her life after a criminal conviction.

The study describes the collateral consequences of a felony conviction arising under federal statutes and regulations. These consequences apply to felony convictions (or their equivalent) obtained in state, federal, and territorial courts, and in courts martial. Except where otherwise noted, they generally do not apply to misdemeanors, juvenile adjudications, or convictions in foreign jurisdictions or tribal courts.

While the study is first and foremost a compilation, and its presentation primarily descriptive rather than analytical, we hope that it will serve as a useful tool for criminal justice practitioners (including defenders, judges, and prosecutors); for persons seeking information about the legal rights and responsibilities of people who have a conviction record; and for advocates, legislators, and policymakers in determining which collateral consequences are reasonable and appropriate responses to public safety concerns, and which are not and what can or should be done to avoid or mitigate them.

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