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Collateral Consequences

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Collateral Consequences

The Delaware Center for Justice supports comprehensive policy reform that provides true second chances for individuals who have paid their debt to society.

Arrests and criminal convictions bring with them a host of consequences beyond just the sentence imposed by the court. Individuals convicted of a crime are subject to a variety of different regulatory sanctions and restrictions, and these collateral consequences follow men and women well after they have paid their debts to society.

Created by the American Bar Association, the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC) indicates that Delaware has over 700 rules and regulations which play a major role in an individual’s life, post-conviction. Oftentimes the restrictions are totally unrelated to the original crime committed. These consequences can range from a limited ability to participate in the political process or difficulty gaining employment. Collateral consequences affect jobs and licenses, housing, public benefits, voting rights, judicial rights, parental rights, the right to bear arms, immigration status, and even volunteer opportunities. DCJ supports policies that help individuals who have served their sentences to fully reintegrate into their communities, rather than ones that impose further punitive restrictions.

The purpose of the legal system is to rehabilitate offenders and protect the public safety. DCJ believes that collateral consequences should be limited and imposed only when the offense is recent and directly related to the collateral consequence.

If you are interested in diving deeper into collateral consequences and their effects in Delaware, be sure to check out this report that DCJ assisted the ACLU of DE in creating.

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Please consider getting involved in this critical work. We have full-time, intern, and volunteer positions available and would love to hear from anyone who is passionate about seeing real change for those affected by the legal system in Delaware.