DOJ Tells States to Ease ID Requirements for Ex-Inmates

The Department of Justice has issued a directive to states telling them to make it easier for those leaving prison to get ID cards. It's part of a broader new initiative to make it easier for felons leaving prison to re-enter society. The initiative is called Roadmap to Re-entry.

The AP reports: [More...]

A letter released Monday by the Justice Department calls on governors to allow federal inmates who are returning to their communities to exchange their prisoner identification cards for state-issued identification, or to simply accept their prison cards as a primary identity document. Without identity documents, Americans leaving prison face challenges in getting jobs, housing or opening bank accounts, Lynch wrote in the letter.

The practical impact is to standardize varied state laws about identification.

The directives are expected to reduce recidivism. From the AP article linked above:

"The long-term impact of a criminal record prevents many people from obtaining employment, housing, higher education and credit — and these barriers affect returning individuals even if they have turned their lives around and are unlikely to reoffend," the department said in a seven-page policy statement titled "Roadmap to Re-entry."

A related article from Reuters re: Obma's attempts to reduce our overreliance on prison through sentencing reform is here.

There are 2.2 million Americans behind bars, a prison rate that is more than four times the world average.

The Justice Department said on Monday it will expand federal programs that ensure ex-prisoners have the skills needed to find work, and that they also have access to housing, education and financial credit after release.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Does the Justice Dept. have any (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Tue Apr 26, 2016 at 10:18:52 AM EST
    control over what the states do about these IDs? Is this a request/suggestion or an order?