Race + Criminal Legal System: Collateral Consequences Part II
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
In April 2021, NACDL held a two-part discussion on race and collateral consequences as part of the ongoing Race and the Criminal Legal System Discussion Series. As the series asserts, much like the Jim Crow Laws that relegated African Americans to a permanent and multi-generational underclass, collateral consequences stemming from criminal convictions have decimated entire communities. The vast array of consequences imposed on those with criminal records has hit communities of color the hardest, largely due to disproportionate policing and prosecutorial practices within the criminal legal system.
In Part II of the discussion on Race and Collateral Consequences, panelists explore how the use of “moral character” clauses, like those used in state bar licensing, can prevent individuals with convictions from participating in the legal profession. The group also discuss a range of restrictions to entrepreneurial ventures that people with criminal convictions face that range from limiting a person’s ability to access capital through loans to barring participation in the legal, regulated cannabis industry.
This webinar, moderated by Robert Patillo, Executive Director of the Rainbow PUSH Atlanta Peachtree Street Project, also features Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance, Kevin Garrett, Fellow at the Texas Jail Project, and Tracey Syphax, Author and Entrepreneur, From the Block to the Boardroom, LLC. The webinar offers the chance to hear from the speakers how over policing and over incarcerating communities of color, and using prior convictions to effectively restrict access to these professional opportunities, serves to, as the NACDL contends, prevent the accumulation of wealth and power, thus continuing to marginalize these communities.
Resources and speaker biographies for both webinars can be found on NACDL’s Race and the Criminal Legal System Discussion Series page, in addition to recordings of past webinars in the series exploring public defense and policing in relation to issues of race.
Access Part I of the discussion, where panelists discussed just how the collateral consequences of a conviction – the specific legal barriers, generalized discrimination, and social stigma – have become more numerous and severe.