A Criminal Record Should Not Be A Life Sentence To Poverty

"The proliferation of criminal background checks alongside the sharp rise in the share of the population saddled with the stigma of a record—which has reached 1 in 3 U.S. adults2—have become major drivers of poverty and racial inequality in the United States. Nine in 10 employers, 4 in 5 landlords, and 3 in 5 colleges and universities now use background checks to screen out applicants with criminal records.3 Often called “collateral consequences,” the resulting barriers to employment, housing, education, and other basics put economic stability, let alone upward mobility, out of reach for tens of millions of individuals and families—disproportionately from communities of color—who have been affected by the U.S. criminal legal system". Learn what states are doing to mitigate the collateral consequences.

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