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The Collateral Consequences
of a Louisiana Felony Conviction

May 19, 2015
William C. Hubbard

William Hubbard, the president of the American Bar Association and the featured guest of Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson at a Monday meeting she convened to discuss over incarceration in Louisiana, said that prison is only one aspect of the punishment imposed on felons. The ABA has created a list of what it calls the "collateral consequences" of felony convictions, that is, a list of rules and restrictions that states impose upon people emerging from prison.

With more than 1,400 collateral consequence laws, Louisiana has the second longest list in the United States. Some of the consequences seem necessary and appropriate. For example, you can't possess a gun if you've been convicted of a felony, and, if you kill your parents, you can't expect to be able to be granted the property they owned.

But some of the collateral consequences seem unnecessary. If you are in prison, for example, you are "ineligible to serve as chairman/vice chairman of petition for neighborhood crime prevention and security district." Eligibility returns once a person has re-registered to vote.

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