Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction

Acknowledging Second Chance Month

NACDL has partnered with Prison Fellowship to recognize Second Chance Month in April. NACDL believes that individuals with an arrest or conviction should be afforded a second chance to become a productive member of society without the stigma of the approximate 48,000 collateral consequences that limit their potential. 

Please join NACDL and Prison Fellowship for a Capitol Hill briefing

Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record: Public Safety Benefit or Threat?  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 
Rayburn HOB 2103 

Space is limited - please RSVP here.

Moderator: Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, Prison Fellowship

Panelists: Rick Jones, President-Elect, NACDL; Adryann Glenn, Criminal Justice Advocate and former Administrative Assistant, Clemency Project 2014 and John Malcolm, Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Invited Members of Congress: 

Rep. Danny Davis (IL)
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY)
Rep. Mia Love (UT)
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI)

Federal Advocacy Letter

NACDL along with over 180 individuals and organizations signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging executive action to ensure that both federal agencies and federal contractors are providing employment opportunities for qualified job seekers who have an arrest or conviction in their past.

Click here to read the letter.

Restoration of Rights Report

On Thursday May 29, 2014, NACDL launched Collateral Damage America's Failure to Forgive or Forget in the War on Crime - A Roadmap to Restore Rights and Status After Arrest or Conviction 

Over 100 people attended the report launch. Poignant testimony was provided by Lamont Carey, a business owner and individual with a conviction; several policy analysts; former Governor Robert Ehrlich; former Congressman J.C. Watts; and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik who also has a conviction on his record. The speaker bios are available here and the agenda is available here. The video webcasting of the event is available here.

To view the report, transcripts, and information about the project click here.

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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