Hundreds of state and federal laws deny privileges and rights to individuals based on their criminal records, including public benefits, occupational licensing, and child custody. Additionally, many private employers and landlords have screening practices that severely limit opportunities for gainful employment and affordable housing for individuals with criminal records.

However, there are a handful of legal tools available to help overcome these barriers to reentry, including expunction, certificate of relief, Title VII, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The following is a brief overview of these tools.