Title

Confronting the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction: A Special Challenge for Social Work with Offenders

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Forensic Social Work

ISSN

1936-928X

Volume

4

Issue

2

First Page

80

103

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Millions of former offenders—often members of racial/ethnic minority or other disenfranchised groups—experience restrictions on their legal and civil rights as the collateral consequences of their criminal conviction. It is critical for the social workers and other human service professionals who frequently interface with this population to understand these collateral consequences to effectively serve their clients with criminal convictions. This exploratory study examined the impact these collateral consequences may have on social work practice with offenders. We assessed practitioners' awareness, knowledge, and experiences with the collateral consequences of clients' criminal convictions and practitioner efforts as “agents of restoration” to pursue statutorily available court-ordered expungements of their clients' criminal conviction records. Findings revealed that practitioners lacked awareness of collateral consequences, their application, and expungement. Recommendations to enhance social work practitioners' ability to address and reduce the far-reaching collateral consequences of incurring a criminal conviction are discussed

Publication Information

Burton, Velmer S., Jr., Colleen Fisher, Cheryl Lero Jonson, and Francis T. Cullen. 2014. “Confronting the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction: A Special Challenge for Social Work with Offenders.” Journal of Forensic Social Work 4:80-103.