Holder Urges States To Review Laws Imposing Curbs On Ex-Prisoners


Attorney General Eric Holder is urging states to eliminate legal burdens on ex-convicts that do not imperil public safety. In a letter last week to all state governors and attorneys general, he said some restrictions such as the prohibition on gun possession, “serve meaningful public safety goals.” Others, such as the “denial of employment and housing opportunities, do not, and research reveals that gainful employment and stable housing are key factors that enable people with criminal convictions to avoid future arrests and incarceration,” he wrote

Holder pledged that the Obama administration would “conduct a similar review of federal collateral consequences” of criminal convictions. He said that the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice funded a study by the American Bar Association that has found 38,000 statutes that impose consequences on people convicted of crimes, an average of about 700 per state or territory. The study can be found here

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