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News 6.26.19

The Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘Unlocking American Dream’: Bill proposes to seal non-violent, weed-related federal crime records

In April, Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-RI) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) reintroduced the Clean Slate Act, which would automatically seal nonviolent federal marijuana records for people who have paid their debt to society. The bipartisan legislation was inspired by Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act, which became law in 2018. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is currently developing a Senate companion bill.

News 6.26.19

The Appeal: Reformers Push to Expand and Automate Expungement

The Appeal reviews the rising trend of states automating record-clearing. Following in the footsteps of Pennsylvania, Utah recently enacted clean slate automated record-clearing legislation. A growing number of states are also considering similar bills, including California, where San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón is championing the legislation. Meanwhile, Delaware is considering legislation to expand expungement.

News 6.26.19

Law360: Research Boosts Push For Automatic Expungements

A recent study by two University of Michigan researchers confirms the urgent need for automated expungement of criminal records. Sonja Starr and J.J. Prescott found that only 6.5 percent of people eligible to clear their records in Michigan actually successfully do so. The new research highlights how “administrative burdens” stand in the way of people getting the second chances they’ve earned. On the flip side, the study confirms the power of record-clearing, finding that a year after a record is cleared, wages go up 25 percent on average. Clean slate legislation that would implement automated record-clearing is expected to be introduced in Michigan later this year.

News 5.6.19

The New Haven Register: Nila Bala – Connecticut’s Clean Slate bill would help those locked out of work

Connecticut’s S.B. 691 would automatically expunge qualifying criminal records after someone remains crime-free for a set period of time, reopening previously closed doors to opportunity for thousands of individuals and improving the state’s economy by helping people with records get back to work. As Nila Bala, associate director of criminal justice policy for the R Street Institute and a former Baltimore public defender, notes, “We are a country built on redemption, and SB 691 would help to redeem thousands of individuals in Connecticut. Isn’t it time we gave those who have already paid their debt to society a real chance to rebuild their lives?”