Repairing the Road to Redemption in California
Californians with convictions face over 4,800 laws that impose harmful collateral consequences long after successful completion of a sentence, most of which have no foundation in public safety and serve no purpose other than to make it harder for people to rebuild their lives. The barriers are extensive and block people from job opportunities, housing, education, adopting or fostering a child (even their own family member), volunteering at their child's school or joining its PTA, and accessing victims' services, among others. To address this crisis, Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ) convened a group of leading experts to develop a first-of-its-kind study on the impact of collateral consequences and the opportunity to advance solutions that will eliminate barriers to success and offer real second chances to millions of Californians. Based on the experiences of people living with criminal records and the challenges they face in overcoming those convictions, this groundbreaking research highlights the most pernicious roadblocks, the long-term effects on individuals, families, and communities and recommendations to increase legal remedies and remove unnecessary restrictions.