J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr of University of Michigan published a study on expungement uptake, recidivism rates, and employment outcomes among people who obtained set-asides (which is similar to expungement) in Michigan.
Massachusetts Trial Court Fines and Fees Working Group Report
The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division published a “Dear Colleague” letter on March 14, 2016 outlining seven recommendations concerning court enforcement of fines and fees. The mission of the Working Group is to review the recommendations, and to evaluate 1) whether Massachusetts laws support each recommendation; and 2) whether the Trial Court is in compliance with each recommendation. This report further sets forth the Working Group’s proposals for adoption and implementation of the Department of Justice recommendations.
Stopped, Fined, Arrested: Racial Bias in Policing & Traffic Courts in California
This report describes the role that racial bias plays in the practices of police and traffic courts in California. Using records collected from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Census, and a host of police departments, the authors offer evidence that a disproportionate number of license suspensions and arrests related to unpaid fines and fees exacerbate poverty among low-income populations. The discussion also includes true accounts of such experiences as well as recommendations for alleviating issues related to the criminal justice system’s handling of traffic infractions.
Legislating Forgiveness: A Study of Post-Conviction Certificates as Policy to Address the Employment Consequences of a Conviction
A criminal record poses a variety of challenges to becoming a productive, law-abiding member of society. Certificates restoring eligibility for employment and certain licenses possess the potential to help individuals with a criminal record overcome such obstacles to achieve successful reentry. This study indicates that while the value of these documents often goes unrecognized by courts and employers, evidence suggests that legal aid providers can act as powerful advocates for expanding access to and successful implementation of certificates, ultimately facilitating stable employment.
Closing the Legal Services Gap in Prison Reentry Programs
This study finds that “reentry programs do not adequately address the legal needs” of formerly incarcerated individuals (p. 15). Using data from reentry initiatives, the article identifies the legal barriers of those reentering society from prison or jail.
2007-2008 Evaluation Findings Clean Slate Program
The LFA Group conducted an evaluation for the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender on the Clean Slate Program. LFA Group finds that the Clean Slate program reduced barriers to employment, education, public benefits, and housing.
Shackled to Debt: Criminal Justice Financial Obligations and the Barriers to Re-Entry They Create
This article serves to discuss Criminal Justice Financial Obligations and raises concerns about how they are implemented. It also considers alternative models for the effective and fair deployment of fines, fees, and restitution in the criminal justice context.
Indefinite Punishment and the Criminal Record: Stigma Reports Among Expungement-Seekers in Illinois
Ipsa-Landa and Loeffler find that criminal records stifle educational, employment, and housing opportunity. They interviewed individuals who are seeking to have their records expunged. They find that these individuals had tried to persuade their landlords and potential employers in the past to overlook their criminal record when applying for housing or a job, but they were often unsuccessful.
Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study
Researchers at the University of Michigan find that record clearing interventions improves wages and employment trajectories. They find that only 6.5 percent of those eligible for an expungement seek out an expungement. They also find that those who have obtained expungements have significantly lower crime rates than the general population.
Erasing the mark of a criminal past: Ex-offenders’ expectations and experiences with record clearance
Adams and colleagues conducted interviews with 40 individuals who had criminal records. Those who were able to get their record cleared from their records reported as if they had a new identity and the record clearing facilitated their reintegration.