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Topic Descriptions

Appropriations + Oversight

Cross-tags bills that: (1) appropriate special or one-time funding to any of the above subjects (not recurring appropriations), (2) direct task forces or working groups to study or report on the above subjects, or (3) direct an agency, governmental entity or court to change procedures relating to the above subjects.

Civil Rights

Tracks bills relating to restoration or loss of civil rights based on criminal convictions or failure to pay fines and fees. Civil rights include the right to vote, sit on a jury, hold public office, access to public benefits and possession of a firearm.

Criminal Records

Tracks bills relating to dissemination, discrimination and consequences of a criminal record. This may include legislation creating or removing criminal record barriers to jobs, occupational licensing, housing or education. Some examples include ban-the-box, clean slate, definitions of completion of sentence, and blanket bans/good moral character provisions in occupational licensing. These bills may also be tagged in Expungement.

Expungement

Tracks bills relating to any updating, sealing or purging of criminal records by government agencies or entities, courts and private companies. These procedures are referred to as expungement, expunction, set-asides, sequestering and clean slate laws. This topic will also track changes to record clearing procedures, filing fees, and automation.

Fines and Fees

Tracks bills relating to any monetary penalties or legal financial obligations associated with being involved in the criminal justice system. 

Pardons & Commutations

Tracks bills relating to pardon, commutation, and clemency authority, procedure and eligibility, as well as the legal effect of a pardon or commutation order (e.g., restores civil rights, expungement eligibility).

Reentry

Tracks bills relating to correctional reentry programming, such as educational, vocational or transition training or programming that assists inmates in finding employment, housing, behavioral health treatment and education (prior to reentry into the community). Programming may also include life skills, soft skills and parenting or relationship skills.

Reintegration

Tracks bills relating to community-based programming that assists formerly incarcerated individuals find employment, housing, behavioral health treatment, education (including grant funding) and other reintegration programming (upon and after reentry into the community). It also includes actions relating to reintegration documents, provisions and assistance (e.g., certificates of employability, identification cards, clothing, Medicaid continuity of coverage) for those leaving incarceration.

Release

Tracks bills relating to eligibility and policies for prison parole or other types of release (unrelated to sentencing). This may include earned time for completing reentry programming or conditions compliance, medical or geriatric parole, conditional or administrative release or mandatory release dates.

Special Populations

Cross-tags bills that focus on a specific population, such as women (e.g., gender- or trauma-responsive programs), individuals with behavioral health issues, geriatric inmates or controlled substance offenders.

Victims

Tracks bills relating to victims' rights and barriers victims face as they move forward after a crime, including access to resources, notification of petitions or orders for expungement, parole, pardon and release.

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