Last updated on: 4/25/2008 | Author:

Other Than Voting, What Privileges/Rights Do Felons Lose?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Jeff Manza, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Political Science, and Associate Director and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, and Christopher Uggen, PhD, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, stated in their 2006 book Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy:

“Ex-offenders face legal restrictions on employment, they lack access to public social benefits and public housing, they are ineligible for many educational benefits, and they may lost parental rights. In many states, their criminal history is a matter of public record, readily searchable for anyone who wants to know.

Research on the lives of ex-offenders has consistently demonstrated they have difficulty finding jobs and a safe place to live, reconnecting with their friends and families, and making their way in a world where they are branded, often for life, by the stigma of a criminal conviction.”

2006 - Christopher Uggen, PhD Jeff Manza, PhD

The Sentencing Project stated in their Feb. 2002 report “Life Sentences: Denying Welfare Benefits To Women Convicted of Drug Offenses,” by Patricia Allard:

“In 1996, the federal government embarked on welfare reform, dismantling a 60-year old social welfare system…

Section 115 of the welfare reform act…stipulates that persons convicted of a state or federal felony offense involving the use or sale of drugs are subject to a lifetime ban on receiving cash assistance and food stamps.”

Feb. 2002 - Sentencing Project

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) stated in their Apr. 17, 2006 report “Harmful Drug Law Hits Home”:

“Under a little known provision of the Higher Education Act (HEA), nearly 200,000 would-be college students have been declared ineligible to receive the federal financial aid they need to attend school because they have drug convictions on their records.”

Apr. 17, 2006 - Harmful Drug Law Hits Home Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

U.S. Code 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), effective Oct. 12, 1999, states:

“It shall be unlawful for any person —

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year…

(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence –

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

Oct. 12, 1999 - TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 44, 922