States across the country are taking action to enact clean slate policies. This toolkit includes the following ways to join the campaign and take action: talking points, frequently asked questions, sample op-eds, sample letters to the editor, and sample social media and shareable graphics.
JustLeadershipUSA’s #WORKINGfuture campaign outlines a “Bill of Rights” for workers with criminal records. The Bill of Rights proposes a new way of thinking about the rights of formerly incarcerated people, rooted in the principles of dignity, restorative justice, and economic security and mobility. #WORKINGfuture is an economic justice campaign to break down collateral consequences and promote investment in the community, spearheaded by leaders who have been affected by the criminal justice system.
Thousands of Californians are eligible to have their criminal records sealed, but many are still missing out on the opportunity. However, it’s not for lack of will—many simply don’t know they’re eligible, can’t afford a lawyer, or get lost in red tape. The automatic sealing of criminal records offers a solution to this problem.
Award-winning rapper Meek Mill has been released from a Pennsylvania prison, after spending months behind bars for a minor violation of the terms of his probation. The musician’s experience has helped shine light on the failings of the American community supervision system, which imposes unnecessarily prohibitive restrictions on the lives of millions of Americans, setting them up to be reincarcerated.
With clean slate, Pennsylvania has the chance to provide real criminal justice reform. The clean slate process uses technology to automatically seal the records of certain criminal records, saving thousands of dollars in government resources and funds. The initiative has gained bipartisan support and has the potential to give second chances to thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Ronald Lewis, a father from Philadelphia, has spent nearly 15 years trying to put his past behind him. L has only a minor conviction record from 2004, but his criminal record continues to create obstacles to economic stability for him and his family. As Ronald shares in this video, he is a different person than he was when he was arrested—and with a clean slate, his record will finally match the person he is today.
Between 70 million and 100 million Americans has some type of criminal record, which can serve as a barrier to employment, housing, education, family reunification, and more. For 1 in 3 Americans with a criminal record, that can also mean a life sentence to poverty. This roundup summarizes key research on the barriers people with records might face and strategies, such as record-clearing, for removing barriers to opportunity for people with records.