Advocating for the Successful Reentry of Individuals with Criminal Records: Lessons Learned from Maryland
Policies and practices created to maintain public safety produce unintended consequences that generate significant barriers to the successful transition from incarceration to the open society. These barriers, commonly known as collateral consequences, severely limit a returning citizen’s ability to legally support themselves and their family.
The Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) has made a significant effort over the past decade to reduce the collateral consequences of a criminal record, with a particular focus on policy change.
We learned many lessons along the way about the most effective advocacy strategies. This paper shares those lessons with a wider community of advocates in hope that organizations in other states can engage in this work with a set of best practices in their toolbox.