Nearly four decades of mass incarceration and overcriminalization have made the United States the world leader in incarceration and arrests, with some 70 million to 100 million Americans having some type of criminal record. Many have been convicted of only minor offenses, and many have arrests that never led to a conviction. Whether or not individuals have spent time behind bars, having a criminal record often carries a lifetime of consequences that last long after they have paid their debt to society. Having even a minor criminal record can be a life sentence to poverty by presenting obstacles to employment, housing, education and training, and more.
These consequences have broad implications—not only for the many tens of millions of adults with criminal records but also for their children and their families. Please join the Center for American Progress for a conversation about the obstacles parents with criminal records face, as well as the resulting consequences for children and families. CAP will release a report with new analysis on the number of U.S. children who have at least one parent with a criminal record. The panel will also explore the intergenerational effects of parental criminal records across five pillars of family well-being—income, savings and assets, education, housing, and family strength and stability—and how a two-generation policy approach to addressing barriers to opportunity associated with having a criminal record can strengthen a family’s economic security, thereby giving both parents and children a fair shot.
Rebecca Vallas, Director of Policy, Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
Carol Fennelly, Founder and Director, Hope House DC
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Amy L. Solomon, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Scot T. Spencer, Associate Director for Advocacy and Influence, Center for Community and Economic Opportunity, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Todd A. Cox, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
A light breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m.