Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, recently announced that the federal government will be encouraging states to make it easier for individuals convicted of crimes to get state-issued IDs after they have served their sentences.
Every year, approximately 600,000 prisoners are released from prisons at both the state and federal levels. When these convicted felons attempt to return to society, however, they often find that moving on with their lives is made difficult by certain barriers to re-entry.
Although some convicted felons are able to apply for criminal record expungement, this doesn’t always guarantee that they will be able to successfully re-enter society.
Lynch, who was in Philadelphia for the beginning of National Re-Entry Week, issued a policy statement aptly titled “Roadmap to Re-Entry.” The statement directly acknowledged that harsh punishments don’t always have the best results for criminal defendants or society at large. According to Lynch, a defendant who ends up with a criminal record can find it very difficult to obtain employment, housing, higher education and credit. Moreover, said Lynch, the lack of access to these things can “affect returning individuals even if they have turned their lives around and are unlikely to reoffend.”
The federal Bureau of Prisons, which houses roughly 200,000 prisons at any given time, has also taken other steps to help convicts rejoin society after being released from incarceration. For example, federal correctional facilities will now take the time to prepare individualized societal re-entry plans for each inmate prior to the inmate completing their prison sentence. These re-entry plans will be tailored to the inmate’s specific circumstances, including whether the inmate has a history of substance abuse, prior criminal convictions or a limited education history.
In conjunction with this measure, the U.S. Justice Department will be publishing a manual that offers practical advice and general guidance to convicts who are about to leave a federal prison.
To learn more, check out the Yahoo.com article, “US to States: Make It Easier for Ex-Prisoners to Obtain IDs.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, whether it’s a drug crime, a weapons offense or a theft offense, the penalties can be severe. That’s why it is imperative that you talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact John W. Tumelty today for a free consultation about your case.