American Judges Association



Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 54, Issue 4 (2018)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


As judges, we know that criminal sentences carry consequences. The ones we usually encounter are the direct ones— the defendant must serve some amount of time in prison, followed by parole or post release supervision. But there are a great many other consequences of a criminal conviction. Judges, attorneys, and members of the public who want to understand the criminal-justice system more fully will want to know about them too.

There’s now a searchable online database where you can find the collateral consequences for convictions throughout the United States. The project, years in the making, launched in late 2018.

The project came in response to the federal Court Security Improvement Act of 2007, which told the National Institute of Justice to collect and analyze the collateral consequences of convictions in each United States jurisdiction. In 2012, the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section began work on collecting the collateral consequences in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the federal criminal-justice system.