Collateral Consequences: The Crossroads of Punishment, Redemption, and the Effects on Communities

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

(June 2019)
Collateral Consequences report cover

This report provides an overview of the relevant data and arguments for and against the imposition of collateral consequences on people with criminal records.

Chapter 1 summarizes the diverse range of collateral consequences, the demographics of the populations affected, and the numerous federal and state laws imposing collateral consequences in various localities. This chapter also analyzes under what circumstances collateral consequences can be removed through government restoration of a person’s civil rights, and the reported lack of transparency about how a person is notified of the potential collateral consequences of a criminal record.

Chapter 2 summarizes the collateral consequences that can impede a person’s access to basic needs like housing, employment, and public benefits.

Chapter 3 examines the collateral consequences that hinder an individual’s access to civic participation through voting and jury service and explores the racial origins and racial disparities of collateral consequences. Finally, the Commission sets forth findings and recommendations.