Restoring Humanity by Forgetting the Past

By David A. Singleton.

Criminal records stigmatize convicted persons, which encourages society to treat them as less than human—as “other.” Once “otherized,” “criminals” are often denied the opportunity to live their best lives and reach their full potential. Indeed, a criminal record can limit one’s ability to work, obtain an education, find housing, or receive public benefits. As former Chief Justice Earl Warren explained, “Conviction of a felony imposes a status upon a person which . . . seriously affects his reputation and economic opportunities.” But the consequences do not end there. Read Singleton’s full article here.