We are excited to announce the launch of the completely revised and updated Collateral Consequences Assessment Tool!
Initially launched in 2012, the Collateral Consequences Assessment Tool, or C-CAT, is a central, searchable database created to help attorneys, policy makers, service providers, and affected individuals identify, assess, and contrast collateral consequences that may be triggered by a criminal conviction. The tool is available here at no cost.
Scattered throughout the North Carolina General Statutes and Administrative Code, state laws require or authorize a wide array of collateral consequences following a criminal conviction, which may affect many areas of life, including, among others, employment and professional licensure, access to public benefits, and civic rights. C-CAT centralizes collateral consequence laws into a searchable database, organized by consequence category, with each collateral consequence displayed as an “index card.” An index card acts as a score card to distill the important attributes of each collateral consequence, including characteristics of the consequence and of the crime or crimes that trigger the consequence.
While the tool’s data has been annually updated to reflect developments in the law since its launch, our team has noted and considered the user experience, including potential barriers to accessing information and the need for improved search features. The revised C-CAT addresses these needs and includes a complete overhaul of the tool’s search functions as well as a comprehensive update of the tool’s data. Users will also notice added features, such as the ability to bookmark repeated searches, a simpler interface for use on smart phones, and expanded resources linked from the tool, including the annual reports of occupational licensing boards’ treatment of people with a criminal history.
I want to thank my School of Government colleagues Darren Goroski and Chancelor Fitzgerald for lending their talents in developing and designing the new C-CAT, and John Rubin for his continuous review and support of the tool. It is my hope that the “new and improved” C-CAT increases accessibility of this complex area of law. Please send any suggestions or questions through the tool’s new feedback feature, or email me at email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: This is the first post by Caitlin Little, who is a Research Attorney at the School and has served as the lead on C-CAT since 2017. We welcome Caitlin to the blog!