Collateral Consequences Policy Snapshots


Criminal records

Collateral consequences are the legal and regulatory sanctions and restrictions that limit or prohibit people with criminal records from accessing employment, occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other opportunities. NCSL’s “Collateral Consequences Policy Snapshots” provide concise briefings on the key policy issues, state laws, and ramifications related to the various collateral consequences that those with a criminal record may face.

Collateral Consequences Policy Snapshots

Criminal Record Clearing: The Terminology

States often use a variety of language to describe criminal record clearance, including annulment, destruction, dismissal, erasure, expungement, sealing, set-aside and vacatur. This publication discusses terminology of criminal record clearing. Read the Snapshot.

State Policies to Clear Criminal Records States have taken a wide range of approaches to achieve record clearing. This publication discusses the primary processes states have for record clearing including by petition, automatic, and automated record clearing processes. Read the Snapshot.

Assessing Fines and Fees in the Criminal Justice System

State legislatures are examining the monetary penalties and legal financial obligations associated with being involved in the criminal justice system and their effects on certain populations. Read the Snapshot.

Ban the Box

For several decades states have had policies in place to prevent employers from discriminating against individuals with a criminal record, commonly called ban the box. This publication takes an in depth look at ban the box policies across the states, including studies on the impacts of such laws. Read the Snapshot. 

Providing Identification for Those Released from Incarceration

Without identification, people cannot go to bars, rent an apartment, book a hotel room or buy a car. Each year, more than 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons and many times, these people reentering society do not have the opportunity or means to obtain important identification documents. Read the Snapshot. 

Additional Resources