13 Creighton L. Rev. 863 (1979-1980)
Records of Arrest and Conviction: A Comparative Study of Institutional Abuse

handle is hein.journals/creigh13 and id is 875 raw text is: RECORDS OF ARREST AND CONVICTION: A
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF
INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE
R. PAUL DAVIS*
INTRODUCTION
The many legal and social consequences of conviction are
well-documented. Social stigma of the convict or prisoner and his
family,' loss of civil rights and liberties on conviction,2 and difficul-
ties in obtaining employment3 have been repeatedly noted amidst
calls for reform or modification.4 A principal irritant to the person
who has at some time been in contact with a law enforcement
agency is the official record of arrest or conviction, generally held
in a police data bank or in local records.
The relationship between police activity and record control is
fundamental to the study of the problem of old records. In Canada
and several American states, primary attention has been directed
to the formal record in the expungement of convictions.5 While
* Research Fellow, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. B.A. (Law), Univer-
sity of Cambridge, 1977; M. Phil. (Criminology), University of Cambridge Institute
of Criminology, 1978; L.L.M. (Dist.), Dalhousie University, 1979. The author wishes
to thank Professor Bruce Archibald of the Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University, for
his generous assistance in the preparation of the thesis upon part of which this
paper is based.
1. See generally J. MARTIN & D. WEBSTER, THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CON-
VICTION (1971); P. MORRIs, PRISONERS AND THEIR FAMILIES (1965); Bakker, Morris &
Janus, Hidden Victims of Crime 23 Soc. WORK 143 (1978). Mays argues that social
ostracism is rare as the majority of offenders inhabit delinquency-prone areas
where most offenses are condoned. Mays, Delinquency Areas-A Re-assessment, 3
BRrr. J. CRIMINOLOGY 216, 218 (1963).
2. For a comprehensive American survey, see Grant, LeCoru, Pickens, Ri-
ukin, & Vinson, The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, 23 VAND. L.
REV. 929 (1970). For a comparative study, see Davis, Civil Disabilities of Ex-Offend-
ers in Canada, England and the United States: A Comparative Study, 13 CoMP &
INT'L L.J.S. AFRcA-(forthcoming).
3. See generally G. POWNALL, EMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS OF RELEASED PRISON-
ERS, REPORT FOR THE MANPOWER ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES DEPT. OF LABOR
(1969); Boshier & Johnson, Does Conviction Affect Employment Opportunities?, 14
BRrr. J. CRIMINOLOGY 264 (1974).
4. See, e.g., Meltsner, Caplan, & Lane, An Act To Promote the Rehabilitation of
Criminal Offenders in the State of New York, 24 SYRACUSE L REV. 885, 885-87 (1973).
See generally A. NUSSBAUM, A SECOND CHANCE (1974).
5. For Canada, see the CAN. REV. STAT. c.12, § 6 (1st Supp. 1970). For the
United States, see the expungement statute of California, and the juvenile ex-
pungement statutes of Alaska, Arizona, California, etc. all discussed in Gough, The
Expungement of Adjudication Records of Juvenile and Adult Offenders: A Problem
of Status, 16 WASH. U.L.Q. 147, 162-86 (1966).

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