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 a number of collateral consequences that could impact an individual’s ability to access housing, find stable employment, be eligible for student loans, and even sit on a jury. These consequences will often follow someone for the rest of their lives, even years or decades after they have finished paying their debt to society.
At SC Appleseed, we are 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.
New Southern Strategy Coalition:
SC Appleseed is on the steering committee for the New Southern Strategy Coalition (NSSC). The NSSC is coalition of more than 40 state-based organizations and national partners working to alleviate the collateral consequences of an arrest and conviction in the South. The premise behind this coalition is that individual state-specific efforts will be supported and magnified by the Coalitions collective goals across the South. We are working to improve access to employment, housing and benefits for Southerners who have a criminal history. To learn more about the New Southern Strategy Coalition, visit: www.newsouthernstrategy.org.
Ban the Box Initiative:
Ban the Box ordinances and laws are part of the equation for providing individuals with past convictions a fair shot at a successful future. Jurisdictions across the country are launching campaigns to “Ban the Box, ” prohibiting 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. Essentially, it increases the chances that someone with a criminal record has a decent shot at employment once they have finished paying their debt to society. We are working with the NSSC and local officials in South Carolina to begin exploring the future of a Ban the Box initiative our state.
- Have a Criminal Record? What You Should Know when Applying for a Job
- What are Collateral Consequences?
Manuals, Reports and Policy Papers