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Unintended Victims of the Lifetime Welfare Ban for Drug Offenders  


Author:  Patricia  Allard.


Source: Volume 06, Number 02, Fall 2013 , pp.31-50(20)




Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Abstract: 

Attorney Patricia Allard exposes the facts behind the deplorable realities facing the many thousands of women who are convicted each year of a crime involving illegal drugs. Alongside the1996 welfare “reform” legislation passed under the Clinton administration, which effectively accelerated the ongoing gutting of the social safety net that we continue to see today, came a law imposing a lifetime ban against receiving welfare for anyone convicted of state or federal drug from receiving welfare. As one might suspect, poverty stricken, ethnic minority women and children are the ones hurt the most by this draconian policy which, although somewhat modified and softened by some states, nonetheless continues to inflict irreparable economic, social, and mental harms on those subject to it. As Ms. Allard points out in this incisive exposé, “The lifetime welfare ban, along with other punitive social policies, makes the possibility of women returning to their communities as productive members more difficult than before their conviction.”

Keywords: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Affiliations:  1: NYU Brennan Center for Justice.

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