An Imperative Redefinition of "Community": Incorporating Reentry Lawyers to Increase the Efficacy of Community Economic Development Initiatives


Life without economic subordination is recognized around the world as a fundamental human right. When individuals are economically impoverished, they are more likely to not only offend, but also repeatedly offend, because poverty compounded with the imposed civil disabilities of a criminal conviction further socially isolate and minimize their life options. This factual inference is not only illustrated through the experiences of my family members, but is also supported by empirical data and theoretical scholarship. Because of this correlation between poverty and criminal offenses, one reason to advocate for alleviating economic subordination is to decrease criminal activity. Practitioners of community economic development (CED) and reentry lawyers are two dynamic groups of individuals who are working within predominantly inner-city communities of color to increase economic and social opportunities. This Comment argues that CED practitioners and reentry lawyers should collaborate to achieve healthy communities and neighborhoods. The reciprocal benefits that result from this collaboration make it imperative that reentry lawyers are active participants to improve the efficacy of CED initiatives.

About the Author

J.D., UCLA School of Law, 2008. B.A., Wellesley College, 2003

By uclalaw