This morning, the Washington Supreme Court stood up for a second chance for Christal Fields, who was wrongfully denied the opportunity to work in her chosen field because of a 30-year-old conviction.

Christal was successfully working in childcare when the Department of Early Learning conducted a background check, found a decades-old conviction for attempted robbery, and swiftly disqualified her from her work. She went from thriving in a profession she loved to being banned from it for life — all...


We're sure you know the (disappointing) facts: the gender wage gap persists, there are countless factors that contribute to it, and the disparity is greater for women of color and mothers. But one fact that is often left out of this conversation is the impact of incarceration on the wage gap.

Women, especially women of color, are being incarcerated in record numbers. While there are many barriers a woman faces while she is in prison—having inadequate access to reproductive health care, being den...


Christal Fields wasn't allowed to explain.

She was successfully working in child care when the Department of Early Learning conducted a background check and found a decades-old conviction for attempted robbery. For that reason only, the Department denied her the right to continue working in her chosen field.

Christal wasn't allowed to explain that the conviction was from nearly 30 years ago when she tried to steal a stranger's purse. She wasn't allowed to explain that, at the time, she was homeles...


Did you know that a person with a felony is prevented from obtaining a number occupational licenses, no matter how much they have changed their lives?

All across the nation, state and local lawmakers are fighting to make reentry possible for people with criminal records. Legal Voice is proud to join that fight! Last month, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of Christal Fields, a childcare worker and mother.

Christal is fighting an uphill battle as a 30-year-old conviction for robbery still preven...


In 2013, Legal Voice championed the Children of Incarcerated Parents Act, a law that helps incarcerated parents keep their ties to their children. We know that mass incarceration has resulted in far too many families—especially families of color—being permanently separated.

But unfortunately, not all Washington courts are applying the law as it was intended. That means many parents continue to lose their parental rights due to their incarceration.

Edelyn is one of those parents. She lost the right...


The Washington Court of Appeals today issued a decision in In re Termination of M.J. and M.J., a case in which a lower court permanently severed a mother’s relationship with her children due to her incarceration. Legal Voice filed an amicus brief supporting the mother’s challenge to the lower court’s ruling.


A key issue in the case concerned trial court’s failure to consider requirements of the Children of Incarcerated Parents Act. Legal Voice led successful advocacy efforts to pass this law in...

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