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Corrections Reform

Efforts to reform the corrections system involve attempts to improve conditions inside prisons and to improve rehabilitative services, such as healthcare, education, vocational training, and criminal justice reform (re-entry employment). There’s also a movement to highlight racial disparity among incarcerated individuals, as well as the far-reaching effects of disenfranchisement of felons. The latter involves their difficulties in re-entering society – including "Ban the Box" and other attempts to separate them from a pool of candidates.

Sentencing and corrections reform is not a traditional business issue, but in most states spending on prisons is one of the top expense lines. With state budgets in major trouble and new taxes and/or deep cuts to important programs on the table, states must take a critical look at all spending. Prison population and costs are at an all-time high but the public safety return doesn’t equal the added expense. Several states, including Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, and Arkansas, have passed sentencing and corrections reform in recent years to curb costs and maintain public safety.

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Ban the Box

"Ban the box" refers to a requirement to remove the conviction history question from employment applications. As of March 2016, more than 100 cities and counties, as well as 21 states, have enacted legislation to ban the box.

Felony Disenfranchisement

State laws vary on ex-offenders' right to vote. While only three states (Iowa, Kentucky, and Florida) permanently disenfranchise convicted felons, nearly 6 million Americans - and about 1 in 13 African-Americans - who have committed felonies (and, in some states, misdemeanors) lack the right to vote.

Last Updated: 11/9/2017

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