If you’ve been convicted of a felony in Kentucky, you know that life does not always go back to normal after you are released. In fact, most felons face a multitude of long-term consequences after a felony conviction, which can touch many different areas of a person’s life. Navigating these consequences is often quite difficult, especially if you lack a strong personal support system.
As stated by the American Bar Association Journal, collateral consequences of felonies have been on the rise since the 80s. These days, restrictions on felons include up to 50,000 mandates specified by the law, which cover numerous areas. For instance, felons may not be able to apply for certain licenses, are not permitted to vote, are not allowed to possess firearms, and may even be prevented from living in certain homes or neighborhoods due to their felony status.
Some posit these restrictions (along with the social stigma surrounding incarceration itself) can make reformation challenging for many felons seeking to find a place in the world after they are released from jail. It’s even alleged that too many restrictions leads to a heightened recidivism rate, since it can be difficult for felons to secure gainful employment even after they’re released. In some cases, it can take years for a former prisoner to get his or her life back on track, and for many people the task can seem all but impossible (which often leads to a return to one’s criminal lifestyle).
However, calls for reform have been become much louder in recent years, which has led to some changes in policy. Re-entry programs are just one possible solution, which aim to aid prisoners on returning to normal life after being incarcerated. Other methods include creating public relations campaigns on behalf of felons to inform the public. These campaigns are intended to remove the stigma of incarceration, thereby increasing the chance that a felon may be able to secure housing or employment.