Restoring humanity: Changing the way we talk about people touched by the criminal justice system

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Publication
Dec 6, 2018
Cameron Okeke and Nancy G. La Vigne for The Urban Institute
When we refer to people who are, or have been, in contact with the criminal justice system as “felons,” “offenders,” “inmates,” or “convicts,” we define them by the worst act of their lives, creating a stigma that lingers long after they’ve paid their debt to society. If we are serious about removing barriers for people with felony convictions, we must change the words we use to describe them.