Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction

Over the past two and half years, NACDL's Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status after Conviction has been preparing a report that will identify the best practices that help facilitate the full restoration of rights and status of an individual following a conviction. As a part of this report and its rollout, the Task Force would like to include stories from individuals who have lost their rights as a result of a plea or a guilty verdict. The Task Force encourages those affected by collateral consequences of a conviction to complete the survey. To learn more, visit

The consequences of conviction – specific legal barriers, generalized discrimination, and social stigma – have become more numerous and severe, more public, and more permanent. The legal mechanisms relied on in the past to restore rights and status – pardons, expungements, certificates of good conduct -- have atrophied or become ineffective, with the result that a significant percentage of the American public is permanently consigned to second class citizenship. 

NACDL is proud to have several projects aimed at examining the collateral consequences of these convictions. The goal is to provide policy recommendations and laud existing best practices that jurisdictions can engage in to effectively decrease the economic, political, and social stigmas associated with a criminal conviction.



"The country was built on the belief that each human being has limitless potential and worth. Everybody matters. We believe that even those who have struggled with a dark past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief is by helping former prisoners who've paid for their crimes -- we help them build new lives as productive members of our society." 

-- Former President, George W. Bush

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