After collecting an exhausting amount of information regarding the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, a new, easy-to-use website was created which allows the user to see just what the consequences of almost any crime will be.
The website was announced last month by the National Institute of Justice, American Bar Association and Sen. Patrick Leahey (D-VT). At the September 19 launch, Sen. Leahey spoke to the gathered crowd telling them, “To promote successful reentry, it is important that prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges understand the full consequences of convictions, so they can make the best possible decisions. More to the point, it is crucial that policy makers understand the full set of collateral consequences already in the law, so that they know whether new sanctions are truly necessary or appropriate and so they can think about removing sanctions that undermine the ability to reenter society without making the public safer.”
After one enters the website,clicks on the orange "V" that appears on the page, and accepts the terms and restrictions of using the site, one is directed to a page that depicts a map of the United States, with some states highlighted. Click on a highlighted state and you can search by Consequence Category such as employment, housing, or government loans and grants, for example or, one can search by Triggering Offense Category, which offers a list of crimes ranging from “Any Felony or Misdemeanor,” to specific crimes such as weapons, sex and even election related offenses. The site is a bit tricky. Once one clicks on, say, Crimes of Moral Turpitude, one has to click on the orange “V” on the left hand side of the page. That will bring up a list showing a triggering offense category, a consequence category, a consequence type, and a duration category. The website provides both federal and state consequences.
The website is a useful tool for those on both sides of the courtroom. It can be accessed by clicking on the link below.