What Happens When Ex-Offenders Return to Our Communities?
States may also elect to opt out of some of the federally mandated collateral consequences for some convictions. For instance, people convicted of drug offenses are, according to federal law, not permitted to receive some “welfare benefits,” or to live in federally subsidized housing. This is a special problem for the families of the felons, because they are then faced with the “choice” of receiving these benefits and turning away from the stigmatized family member, or losing their subsidized housing. This is hard on families and removes from ex-offenders important support systems that enable them to successfully come back into the community and remain out of prison. States are permitted by Congress to opt out of these penalties, but their legislatures need to formally affirmatively enact laws to not have those sanctions applied in their state. http://issues.org/32-1/the-effects-of-mass-incarceration-on-communities-of-color/