Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Rehabilitation Counseling


Thomas D. Upton


For people navigating the world with a disability, the presence of a criminal record may present them with yet another challenge to function within their lives to the fullest extent possible. The prevalence of people who seek rehabilitative services who have criminal records may require counselors to have more knowledge of the barriers that they frequently encounter. The rehabilitation counselor who works with these clients must take these barriers into account when planning and implementing services for them, just as they must take into account other barriers that are socially derived, such as discrimination in all of its forms and any socially imposed stigma.

This paper reviews literature related to the impact criminal records have on the lives of people who may be seeking rehabilitation counseling services. Chapter one discusses recent trends in sentencing for criminal activity and the major areas of clients lives that may be affected by their attachment to the resulting criminal records. Chapter two presents a literature review of current research regarding the impact of criminal record on the rehabilitation counseling client and how this may inform the counselors treatment planning. Chapter three provides discussion and recommendation for future research.