“I want to put the past behind me but it seems to pound me deeper in the ground with every corner I turn....”

J.G. Toole, Former Prisoner, DC

People with criminal records seeking reentry face a daunting array of counterproductive, debilitating and unreasonable roadblocks in almost every important aspect of life. In 2004, the Legal Action Center (LAC) completed and published After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry, a comprehensive analysis and grade report of state laws and policies that serve as legal barriers to reentry in the areas of employment, public housing, public benefits, voting, access to criminal records, adoptive and foster parenting, and driversí licenses. In 2009, LAC issued the After Prison Report: 2009 Update to highlight statesí progression or regression in improving opportunities for people with criminal histories to successfully reintegrate into society to become productive, law-abiding citizens. The District of Columbia was included in the updated report.

On this Website...

In What's the Law, we present a comprehensive catalogue of the legal barriers each state imposes in areas of employment, housing, benefits, voting, access to criminal records, parenting, and driving, and we explain the federal limitations on student loans. The Report Card grades each state on whether its laws and policies help or hurt those seeking reentry. And in our Vision for the Future, we offer a series of recommendations on how federal and state policymakers can help reintegrate people with criminal records into society without compromising public safety.

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