Eliminate Barriers to Second Chances
Once a Shared Safety approach has been adopted, barriers that prevent people from turning their lives around must be removed.
Why do we need it?
Californians with felony convictions face over 4,800 restrictions, including barriers to securing housing and employment. And it’s not just felony convictions that create barriers; even unpaid fees and fines for minor infractions can spiral into penalties that upset lives.
How does it help?
Removing these barriers and ensuring that individuals with felony convictions can participate equally in society creates opportunities to successfully reintegrate
, restores families and fosters well-being. It also reduces the likelihood they will reoffend.
Questions To Ask
- How can we eliminate the barriers people with felony convictions face? What about minor infractions or misdemeanors?
- What’s the process for clearing one’s record? How long does it take?
- Do people with criminal records have legal support to help secure jobs and housing? How can we reduce the backlog of petitions for records?
California has more than 4,800 restrictions for people with felony convictions: 58% are job-related and 73% are lifetime bans.
What does it take to implement?
- Engage your collaborative partnership, including the private sector, in removing barriers to employment and reducing stigma.
- Revise locally imposed fines and fees that disproportionately impact poor people.
- Minimize barriers by public housing agencies and ensure an appeals process.
- Release holds on driver’s licenses for people seeking employment and adjust child support payments during periods of no income.
- Increased percentage of eligible individuals notified about their right to clear their records.
- Shorter length of time required to have a record cleared in court.
- Decreased number of appeals filed for inaccurate background checks.
- Increased percentage of individuals returning from incarceration who have access to stable housing, living-wage jobs and healthcare.