Life After Prison Is No Walk In The Park
Tuesday, March 19, 12:30-2:00 PM
Keesha Middlemass is an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. She is the author of Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry (NYU Press, 2017).
After serving time in prison, 95% of men and women are released and given the opportunity to reenter society. Reentry is challenging due to the fact that a felony conviction is used to deny former prisoners access to a range of public benefits and civil rights. Collectively known as the collateral consequences of a felony conviction, they are extra-legal punishments that are implemented after completing a criminal sentence. As a result of these restrictions, life after prison is no walk in the park. Men and women must navigate a maze of statutory restrictions in order to reenter society successfully. Based on her research at a non-profit reentry organization in Newark, New Jersey, Keesha Middlemass described how the maze of legislative regulations that revoke, restrict or retract public benefits hinders reentry efforts.