felon | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


felon is a person who has been found guilty of committing a felony crime.

In the United States criminal justice system, a felony is a serious offense that carries a potential sentence of one year or more in prison. A person who has been convicted of committing a felony crime is commonly referred to as a felon. Felons are considered to be the most serious offenders within the criminal justice system, and they face significant social and legal consequences as a result of their convictions.

The legal consequences of being a felon can vary depending on the nature of the offense and the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. In general, however, felons face significant limitations on their civil rights, including restrictions on the right to vote, own firearms, and hold public office. In some states, felons are also barred from serving on juries and from obtaining certain types of professional licenses.

Additionally, being a felon can have significant social consequences. Felons often face difficulties in finding employment, securing housing, and accessing education or other opportunities. They may also face stigma and discrimination from others in their community, which can further compound the challenges they face in reintegrating into society.

Despite the significant consequences of being a felon, many individuals who have been convicted of felony offenses are able to successfully reintegrate into society and live productive and law-abiding lives. This process, known as reentry, involves a variety of supportive services and programs aimed at helping felons overcome the barriers they face and become productive members of their communities.

Reentry programs may include job training and placement services, educational programs, mental health, and substance abuse treatment, and other supportive services designed to help individuals overcome the challenges they face after being released from prison. These programs are often run by nonprofit organizations or government agencies and are intended to provide a safety net for individuals who are struggling to reintegrate into society after being convicted of a felony offense.

In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of reentry programs in reducing recidivism rates and improving outcomes for individuals who have been convicted of felony offenses. Policymakers and advocates have called for increased investment in reentry programs and for reforms to the criminal justice system that prioritizes rehabilitation and reintegration over punishment and incarceration.

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Last Modified: 04/06/2023

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