SC Appleseed works to reduce barriers to opportunity facing all South Carolinians, regardless of their background. Around 30% of South Carolinians have a criminal record. The impact of a criminal record goes far beyond the immediate issue of incarceration. Nearly every criminal conviction carries collateral consequences that could impact an individual’s ability to access housing, find stable employment, be eligible for student loans, and professional licensing.
SC Appleseed is committed to reducing the Collateral Consequences facing individuals with criminal records. In doing so, we believe we can help individuals out of poverty, while simultaneously reducing recidivism rates and taxpayer expense. Everyone in South Carolina can benefit from successful prisoner reentry.
Expanding Opportunities for Expungement
SC Appleseed has been working closely with policy makers to expand opportunities for expungements. Under current law, only minor charges or charges for which a person received a Youthful Offender Act sentence are eligible for expungement, and only if certain criteria are met. SC Appleseed is working to expand opportunities for criminal record relief in a way that provides for public safety but also recognizes that a criminal record should not automatically result in a lifetime of punishment.
Ban the Box
Ban the Box ordinances and laws are part of the equation for providing individuals with past convictions a fair shot at a successful future. “Ban the Box,” prohibits potential employers from asking about an individual’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made and generally apply to public sector employees. It increases the chances that someone with a criminal record has a decent shot at employment after reentering their community.
SC Appleseed recognizes that a criminal record has widespread and lifelong impacts – many which are not obvious at time of sentencing. We welcome feedback from anyone living with a criminal record on the biggest hurdles they face after completing their sentence.
Partner and Additional Resources
To view the ABA Inventory of Collateral Consequences, visit: http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/
The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families has created an expungement guide.
- Have a Criminal Record? What You Should Know when Applying for a Job
- What are Collateral Consequences?
- What are Collateral Consequences? (Spanish)
Manuals, Reports and Policy Papers