A Feast for Fair Chances – Next100
Commentary   Criminal Justice

A Feast for Fair Chances

A Feast for Fair Chances is no ordinary restaurant menu.

A Feast for Fair Chances is no ordinary restaurant menu. During this meal, you’ll learn about how America’s criminal legal system is designed to perpetually punish the 70 million people with a criminal conviction well after they have completed their sentences. But as you’ll see, not every criminal sentence has to be a life sentence.

Next100’s Zaki Smith is a member of the Clean Slate NY coalition, which is fighting for a new law that will automatically clear a New Yorker’s criminal record once they become eligible. The collateral damage of a criminal conviction can be wide-ranging and enduring—permanently barring many individuals from basic opportunities like employment and housing. Clean Slate NY is about strengthening our communities by ensuring that New Yorkers are not punished beyond their sentences and can be full and fair participants in economic and civic life. Read more about Zaki and Clean Slate NY’s recent work here.

Actions from A Feast for Fair Chances

  1. Make sure you and the people you know are registered to vote. To register or identify who is eligible, visit www.vote.org.
  2. Contact your elected officials by email or phone. If you don’t know who your local legislators are, visit this site. Find out who represents you in the New York State Senate and Assembly.
  3. Join Clean Slate NY and sign their petition to enact automatic expungement in New York State.

About the Author

Portrait of Michael Zaki Smith, he has closely cut hair, and a short beard.
Michael “Zaki” Smith Criminal Justice

Michael “Zaki” Smith is an entrepreneur and activist with more than fifteen years of experience in youth empowerment and social justice. At Next100, his work focuses on dismantling the collateral consequences of incarceration, policies that have impacted him personally as a formerly incarcerated individual.

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