Restoration of Rights Project
Margaret Love, an Adviser to the recently-approved Model Penal Code: Sentencing project, has made us aware of a unique legal research tool. Ms. Love has been involved for more than a decade in collecting and analyzing the various mechanisms in each U.S. jurisdiction that enable individuals to avoid or mitigate the civil consequences of a criminal conviction. Her research has now been published as the Restoration of Rights Project by the Collateral Consequences Resource Center and its partner organizations, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the National HIRE Network. Ms. Love is co-author of a treatise on the collateral consequences of conviction, and has published several law review articles about the treatment of this subject in the original Model Penal Code and in the recently approved revision of the MPC sentencing articles.
The Restoration of Rights Project is an online resource that offers state-by-state analyses of the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to restoration of rights and status following arrest or conviction. Jurisdictional “profiles” cover areas such as loss and restoration of civil rights and firearms rights, judicial and executive mechanisms for avoiding or mitigating collateral consequences, and provisions addressing non-discrimination in employment and licensing. Links to many original sources are included. The information in each profile is summarized, followed in each case by a link to the full profile.
In addition to the jurisdictional profiles, there is a set of 50-state comparison charts that make it possible to see national patterns in restoration laws and policies. We expect to supplement these resources in weeks to come with a list of organizations that may be able to assist individuals in securing relief.
The resources that comprise the Restoration of Rights Project were originally published in 2006 by CCRC Executive Director Margaret Love, and the profiles and comparison charts have expanded over the years to broaden their scope and to account for the many changes in this complex area of the law. Project resources have now been re-organized into a unified online platform that makes them easier to access, use, and understand. The short “postcard” summaries of the law in each state — which serve as a gateway to more detailed information — have also been reviewed and revised to provide a more current and accurate snapshot of applicable law in each state.
These reference materials are intended as a resource for practitioners in all phases of the criminal justice system, for courts, for civil practitioners assisting clients whose court-imposed sentence has exposed them to additional civil penalties, for policymakers and advocates interested in reentry and reintegration of convicted persons, and for the millions of Americans with a criminal record who are seeking to put their past behind them.
These resources may be republished as long as appropriate attribution is given to this source.
Visit the Restoration of Rights Project website to view the 50-State Comparisons of Relief Mechanisms on:
- Loss and Restoration of Civil Rights & Firearms Privileges
- State Law Relief from Federal Firearms Act Disabilities
- Characteristics of Pardon Authorities
- Judicial Expungement, Sealing, and Set-aside
- Consideration of Criminal Records in Licensing and Employment
- Relief from Sex Offender Registration Obligations
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