The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Records

Christensen, E. and Jardine, C. and Kennedy, A. and Mabon, K. and Taylor, E. and Weaver, B. (2021) The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Records. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Whether due to formal legal restrictions, or social stigma and associated forms of discrimination, the 'mark of a criminal record' (Pager, 20031) has significant consequences for people with convictions (e.g., Henley, 2018 a2, b3; Miller, 20214). The many and varied impacts and effects of criminal records has been referred to as an invisible and pervasive punishment, and a collateral consequence of contact with the justice system (Travis, 20025). These enduring consequences affect a significant proportion of the population across the U.K. A report by McGuinness et al., (20136) estimated that 'at least one third of the adult male population and nearly one in ten of the adult female population [of Scotland] is likely to have a criminal record'. Similarly, Freedom of Information requests have revealed that there are over 11.8 million people with a criminal record, equating to one in 6 people.