WHAT: Virtual listening session on barriers to accessing state IDs for those involved in the criminal legal system
WHO: North Carolina Justice Center, Fayetteville PACT, Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, Justice Served NC, Inc. and Disability Rights North Carolina, as well as directly impacted people and service providers
WHERE: Zoom (pre-registration is required)
WHEN: June 8, 6:30 p.m.
RALEIGH (June 7, 2021) — The North Carolina Justice Center, Fayetteville PACT, Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, Justice Served NC, and Disability Rights North Carolina will co-host a virtual listening session on June 8, 2021, at 6:30 pm via Zoom to discuss current barriers to accessing a state ID for those involved in the criminal legal system. Directly impacted people and service providers will share their experiences with the current system and offer ideas for solutions to make the process less cumbersome for people reentering their communities after release from prison.
Difficulty obtaining a state ID can prevent reentering individuals from accessing essential resources like housing, employment, healthcare benefits, and food assistance. This problem could be resolved through better coordination and sharing of information between the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the NC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DPS may have most, if not all, of the information that DMV needs to issue a North Carolina ID to individuals leaving prison. In fact, many people leaving prison may have had a North Carolina license or ID prior to their incarceration; this information could be used to issue a new State ID for people being released from prison.
In a May 19 letter to Governor Cooper, the North Carolina Justice Center, Fayetteville PACT, the ACLU of North Carolina, and other organizations called on the Governor and Attorney General Josh Stein to participate in this June 8 conversation and actively engage in the effort to find solutions to this problem
“For a person that’s returning home, one of the first things they need, besides housing, is employment. And they cannot get employment without a state ID,” said Diana Powell, Executive director of Justice Served NC, Inc. “It can be a difficult process for someone to get an ID after they are released from prison. Many people are left in limbo and miss the opportunity to work and become self-sustaining. It would be hard for anyone in this position to not feel discouraged. Once someone gets a state ID, it can remove a barrier to them becoming more self-sufficient and a productive citizen.”