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Legal-Advocacy Resources


If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law. According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26. You may be denied benefits or a job if you have not registered. You can register at any U.S. Post Office and do not need a social security number.


Federal Public Defenders Office (contact information and website)

Local Legal Aid Organizations

Also, the U.S. Department of Justice is promoting the use of Second Chance Act funds for civil legal assistance in handling drivers license renewals, expunging records, responding to inappropriate denials of jobs or housing, violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, modifying child support orders, etc. (see related May 2012 press release link here).


The Sentencing Project

Women's Prison Association

Legal Action Center - Your Rights, Your Future - Preparing for Reentry

How to get Section 8 Housing assistance with a criminal record (Legal Action Center)


U.S. Department of Justice - Presidential Pardon process and forms

Tennessee and National Restoration of Rights summaries (The Sentencing Project)

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidelines (May 2012) for federally-funded workforce development programs throughout the United States to ensure that people with criminal records who seek employment through the programs are not unfairly and illegally shut out from consideration for jobs. The new policy covers nearly 3,000 “One-Stop Career Centers” that provide job placement, training, and referral services to unemployed and underemployed workers. 

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary  Housing Non-Discrimination Directive (April 2012) on housing discrimination guidance and protections for those with criminal records, and related details and links.

Know Your Rights -  Substance Abuse Recovery (Legal Action Center)

Myths about Restrictions on Access to Public Financial Aid for Education (National Reentry Resource Center)

Many people with disabilities find their biggest challenges are not the actual mental or physical challenges they live with every day, but instead, it is the obstacles of discrimination, ignorance and negative stereotypes about what people with disabilities can — or cannot — do.  Disability Rights Tennessee exists to help people break through these barriers to achieve their personal goals and dreams.

Here's also an excellent source on Criminal Records and Employment, Protecting Yourself from Discrimination (Legal Action Center)

RAP Sheets (or Criminal Records)....Where They Begin and End (Legal Action Center, National HIRE Network)

Parental Rights of the Incarcerated (Reentry Mythbusters, Council of State Governments)


List of U.S. Department of Justice Agencies