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“Invisible Punishments” and Indiana’s Efforts to Reduce Barriers to Re-Entry - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News

Posted on: Sep 4, 2019

By Brittany Kelly, Marion County Public Defender Agency

The collateral consequences that come with a conviction can have far-reaching effects long after the sentence has been served, sometimes unrelated to the crime itself. These “invisible punishments” can affect a person’s housing, employment, visitation and child custody, educational path, social integration and ultimately, increase their chance of recidivism.

In a New York Times article published in October of 2018, Indianapolis was recognized as a national leader in expungement efforts for its citizens. Since then, attempts to remove the barriers of criminal convictions and suspended licenses in Indiana have not slowed down. This article will explore the outcomes of the “Second Chance Workshop” held by the Marion County Prosecutors Office, the impact of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s “Expungement Help Desk” and diver's license reinstatement fee waiver services provided by the Marion County Public Defender Agency to its clients that extend beyond the scope of traditional public defender representation.

Lastly, this article will briefly discuss the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC). The NICCC database works to inform attorneys, judges, policymakers and advocates alike of collateral consequences in the law, or “invisible punishments."

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