Although the American economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, many people still struggle to find jobs. Politicians blame taxation, trade policies and automation. Some have even singled out the current welfare system.
Often overlooked? The many punitive effects of the criminal justice system.
Nearly 65 million Americans have a criminal record. This black mark carries with it potentially mandatory restrictions on jobs, housing, education and public assistance. As detailed in a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers study, the federal government and every state imposes some sort of “collateral consequence” to arrests or convictions.
Some survey data suggest that more than half of released ex-offenders remain unemployed up to a year after their release from custody.