News Release ~ 04/25/2012

Hearings on Barriers to Social Re-Entry for Ex-Offenders And Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

WHEN: Thursday, April 26, 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
WHERE McDonald Hopkins, LLC
600 Superior Avenue East, Suite 2100
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Washington, DC (April 25, 2012) – With more than 65 million Americans possessing a criminal record, the consequences of conviction – specific legal barriers, generalized discrimination, and social stigma – have become more numerous and severe, more public, and more permanent. These restrictions affect jobs and licenses, housing, public benefits, judicial rights, parental rights, interstate travel, and even volunteer opportunities. Moreover, the legal mechanisms relied on in the past to restore rights and status for formerly convicted individuals have atrophied or become ineffective, with the result that a significant percentage of the American public is permanently consigned to second class citizenship.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ (NACDL) Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction will hold its third national hearing on how legal mechanisms for relief from the collateral consequences of conviction are actually working in state and federal systems on Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, 2012, in Cleveland, Ohio, at the offices of McDonald Hopkins, LLC.

The approximately two dozen witnesses in Cleveland includes judges from federal and state courts, as well as Gary Mohr, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction; Dennis G. Terez, Federal Public Defender; Stephen Johnson Grove, Deputy Director, Ohio Justice Policy Center; Mansfield Frazier, Executive Director, Neighborhood Solutions, Inc.; and representatives from the Office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

In addition, the witness list includesdefense lawyers, researchers, as well as individuals with convictions who themselves confronted barriers to re-entry. The Task Force is particularly interested in Ohio as various entities are engaged in ensuring that those with convictions on their records have their rights restored and become functioning members of their communities.

The Task Force’s inaugural hearing was held in Chicago, Illinois, last October, followed by a hearing in Miami, Florida, in February. Witnesses have shared a range of personal and professional experiences, perspectives and expertise on the important practical issues surrounding barriers to re-entry and the collateral consequences of a criminal record.

If you are interested in attending part or all of these hearings, please contact NACDL’s State Legislative Affairs Director Angelyn C. Frazer at afrazer@nacdl.org or at (202) 213-9302 (mobile) by the close of business on Wednesday April 25, 2012.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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