Convicted offenders face a host of so-called “collateral” consequences: formal measures such as legal restrictions on voting, employment, housing, or public assistance, as well as informal consequences such as stigma, family tensions, and financial insecurity. These consequences extend well beyond an offender’s criminal sentence itself and are frequently more burdensome than the sentence. This essay considers two respects in which collateral consequences may be relevant to the question of what the state should, or may, criminalize. First, they may be relevant according to specific accounts of criminalization, including plausible versions of the harm principle and legal moralism. Second, they may be relevant to the legitimacy of state criminalization more generally. Thus for legal theorists concerned with the issue of legitimate criminalization, normative questions raised by collateral consequences are of central importance.
Hoskins, Z. (2017). Criminalization and the collateral consequences of conviction. Criminal Law and Philosophy, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11572-017-9449-2