In response to a dramatic surge in car thefts across New Jersey, State Attorney General Matt Platkin announced today that he is reversing a policy that prevented police officers from pursuing stolen cars. In late 2021, Platkin effected a statewide policy that prohibited police from chasing a stolen car unless they suspected it had been used [...]
When someone pleads guilty or is convicted of a federal or state crime, there are serious collateral consequences, in addition to potential jail time, forfeiture, restitution and other fines and penalties. The term ‘‘collateral consequence’’ means a collateral sanction or a disqualification, a penalty, disability, or disadvantage that is imposed by law as a result [...]
President Biden just signed an Executive Order to phase out the federal government’s use of private prisons. For-profit, private prison systems have been found to provide less humane and less safe environments overall, in an effort to increase profits. While signing the Order, the President stated that “[t]his is the first step to stop corporations from profiting off incarceration, that is less humane and less safe, as studies show . . . [a]nd this is just the beginning of my administration’s plan to address systematic problems in our criminal justice system.”
While people may not mourn his death based upon the heinous allegations against him, Epstein’s suicide is a high-profile example of the American prison system’s systematic failure to protect both those accused and convicted of crimes. Jails and federal holding facilities incarcerate those accused of crimes pending trial, and at times, those convicted with shorter sentences. Federal and state prisons house those who have pled or have been convicted of crimes.
A felony conviction has a serious impact on a defendant’s life, even beyond the obvious immediate consequences of sentencing. A person who has a felony conviction on their record forfeits certain rights that other members of the community enjoy. In some jurisdictions there exists a process by which an individual can seek to have a felony conviction expunged from their record, but even this process may not fully restore every right and privilege that the person held prior to their conviction.