Next Steps: After "13th" Screening- Information & Resource List

1. What is a felonyWhat rights are taken away

In criminal law, a felony is a category of crimes that are often classified as the most serious types of offenses, and they can be either violent or non-violent. Felonies are typically classified as mala in se crimes. The main characteristic of a felony is that being found guilty of a felony will result in incarceration for at least one year. Also, the imprisonment will be served in a prison facility rather than a county or local jail establishment. Criminal fines may also be imposed for felony charges, often in the amounts of thousands of dollars.

Under traditional common law, felonies were called “true crimes,” and usually included serious offenses such as: homicideattempted murder, rape, arsonhuman trafficking, burglary, robbery, failing to inform a sex partner of their HIV-positive status, criminal damage to property, escaping from a prison, interfering with a guardian's custody rights including interstate interference, and assisting in a felony. Current, state and federal criminal statutes may categorize various other types of crimes as felonies.

Typical felonies:

This list is not exclusive. Many criminal offenses can also be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Consequences if charged with a felony:

  • It could be on your record for life
  • Imprisonment (state imprisonment)
  • Probation or parole
  • Significant fines
  • Loss of the right to possess deadly weapons
  • Loss of occupational licensing
  • Loss of right to vote

The consequences of a felony conviction in California. Specifically, we will discuss the effects of a felony on:

1. Felony Convictions & Employment
in California

2. Felony Convictions & Professional Licenses
in California

3. Voting

4. Serving on a jury

5. Serving in the armed forces

6. Holding public office

7. Possessing a firearm

8. Collection of DNA

9. Federal benefits

10. Travel restrictions

11. Immigration

12. Lawsuits by your victim(s)

13. Warrantless parole searches

14. Registration as a sex offender under
"Megan's law"

15. Special restrictions related to
drug convictions

16. California's three-strikes law

17. Pension benefits for California employees
and officials

Professions that may be affected by a felony conviction include (but are not limited to): Doctor, Nurse, Dentist, Pharmacist, Physical therapist, Teacher, Social worker, Lawyer, real estate agent or broker.

2. What is Proposition 47 and why does it matter? Prop 57

The ballot initiative passed by California voters on November 4, 2014, reduces certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors. It also requires misdemeanor sentencing for petty theft, receiving stolen property and forging/writing bad checks when the amount involved is $950 or less.


Proposition 57 – the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 – focuses resources on keeping dangerous criminals behind bars, while rehabilitating juvenile and adult inmates and saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, here’s what it does:

  • Saves taxpayer dollars by reducing wasteful spending on prisons.

  • Keeps the most dangerous offenders locked up.

  • Allows parole consideration for people with non-violent convictions who complete the full prison term for their primary offense.

  • Authorizes a system of credits that can be earned for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education milestones or taken away for bad behavior.

  • Requires the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to certify that these policies are consistent with protecting and enhancing public safety.

  • Requires judges instead of prosecutors to decide whether minors should be prosecuted as adults, emphasizing rehabilitation for minors in the juvenile system.

3. ALEC Corporations list and CCA:

Who Owns Private Prison Stock? The largest owner of CCA stock was Vanguard Group, Inc., with 16.79 million shares valued at $578.9 million, followed by Vanguard’s Specialized-REIT Index Fund, a mutual fund, with 8.8 million shares. Other top institutional investors included Managed Account Advisors with 6.4 million shares, London Co. of Virginia with 6.13 million shares and Epoch Investment Partners, Inc. with just over 6 million shares.

CCA’s ten largest institutional investors owned approximately 67.7 million shares in the company or almost 58% of the company’s total issued stock. Banks that are heavily invested in CCA include the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. with 2.46 million shares and Wells Fargo & Company with 1.24 million shares.

Who’s getting rich off the prison-industrial complex?

4. Stand your ground States (learn more)

No duty to retreat from the situation before resorting to deadly force; not limited to your property (home, office, etc.).

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia

Duty to retreat states

On the other end of the legal spectrum, some states have laws imposing a duty to retreat. A duty to retreat generally means that you can't resort to deadly force in self-defense if you can safely avoid the risk of harm or death (by running away, for example). If that is not an option, say if you were cornered or pinned down and facing serious harm or death, then you would be authorized to use deadly force in self-defense. The following states impose some form of duty to retreat before using deadly self-defense:

Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

5.  Frequently asked questions about SB 1070 (Arizona’s racial profiling law)

Learn more about this from the ACLU

6. What is the ACLU and what does it stand for?

ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Union. For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Become a member



7. What the heck is Intersectionality and why does it matter?

Intersectionality can be defined as the study or concept of discriminative or oppressive institutions on disenfranchised groups or minorities, and the way these groups are interconnected. The theory of Intersectionality is based on the concept that oppressive institutions within a society, such as racism, ageism, sexism, and homophobia, do not act independently, but are instead interrelated and continuously shaped by one another.

(learn more and Learn a bunch)

9. Children of incarcerated Parents

320,000 kids in LA have a parent in jail or prison. 2.7 million American students are already further along the pipeline to prison than their classmates—simply because they have a parent who is behind bars.

Studies show parental incarceration can be more traumatic to students than even a parent's death or divorce, and the damage it can cause to students' education, health, and social relationships puts them at higher risk of one day going to prison themselves. (Learn More)

How do parents in prison affect children in school?

Parents' Incarceration Takes Toll on Children, Studies Say

Important Stats