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Michael Sweig, JD
Michael Sweig, JD
Founder at Citizens' Institute: for People with Criminal Records 
Professor, Lobbyist, Author, Speaker, Policy Consultant. Founder, Citizens' Institute: for People with Criminal Records. Legal Studies Professor (2000 - 2012). JD, De Paul University College of Law (1986). BA, Economics. University of California, Santa Cruz. (1980).
 

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Dec. 12, 2011 3:25 am
Changing the rhetoric of felony is my work and passion. Sometimes what I read and hear angers me. Today, I am outraged at the scurrilous lack of critical thinking displayed by two types of crucial community stakeholders who should know better. Many readers will know the well-publicized crime, if not the name, of Pennsylvania real estate mogul and revered philanthropist, Robert K. Mericle....  Read More
Dec. 8, 2011 5:53 am
Since a lawbreaker with or without young kids cannot undo the crime and those with kids remain a parent, the best thing to do when a lawbreaker has children is throw in the towel immediately. The worst part of ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's crime is dragging all this out and dragging his daughters through it. That's worse than any crimes for which he was convicted. As a felon-Dad, when...  Read More
Oct. 22, 2011 3:34 pm
Many readers know the Ad Council’s legendary campaign slogan for the United Negro College Fund: “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” This gem of American vernacular applies to all minds, including white-collar minds. But I’m not talking about a Madoff or Kozlowski as I tell my disbarred felon story to argue that some white-collars are crucial renewable resources whose education and skills...  Read More
Jul. 12, 2011 8:11 am
When life is hard, it can be hard to see the good that happens to us, and even more difficult to see the good in ourselves. Fourteen years ago when the bottom fell out of my life and my law practice, I made a phone call that began an education for me that I will always feel compelled to pass on to others. I was sitting in my cousin's silk stocking law office. He was first and foremost a friend...  Read More
Jan. 10, 2011 9:46 am
Recently, a blind peer reviewer for a law journal to which I’d submitted a manuscript included the following comment, among others, in rejecting my article for publication: “Since when is ‘because it’s the right thing to do’ a legal reason to do anything?” My manuscript argues that the Illinois legislature should enact uniform standards for assessing occupational license applications by...  Read More
Nov. 22, 2010 6:45 am
I want to explain the work of the Institute for People with Criminal Records: A Consortium of Thinkers Advancing Equal Justice Under Law. The Institute is a few months young, and already I've been branded an elitist for daring to serve and dignify what might be the top 20%, or "cream of the crop" among the nearly 20 million Americans with a felony, and the 65 - 70 million Americans with some kind...  Read More
Oct. 30, 2010 1:11 pm
All we want is "proportional unemployment," not preferences. “We” are people with criminal records. We are the people for whom in a "normal" or "typical" economy (remember those?) unemployment rates can range from 25% - 70%, depending upon our relative levels or lack of education. We are not "ex-offenders," "offenders," "ex-cons," "cons" or the like, because those labels define us by the...  Read More
Oct. 18, 2010 8:16 pm
I'm in Los Angeles preparing to moderate a panel at the California Wellness Foundation's Violence Prevention Conference. The panel is "Safe and Successful Reentry Strategies." The panel focus is on young, formerly incarcerated people with criminal records. Note that I didn't call them young ex-cons or young ex-offenders. That's no accident. They are people first. And people next. And people last...  Read More

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