Criminal Justice Reform Leaders Praise Introduction of New Legislation

For Immediate Release: September 8, 2019
Contact: Heather Cabral, 202.550.6880, heather@westendstrategy.com

LANSING, Mich. – Today, the Alliance for Safety and Justice praised the introduction of new, bipartisan legislation to help remove post-conviction barriers for Michigan residents. The legislation includes criminal record expungement that could help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders – with up to decades of law-abiding behavior –enhance their ability to earn employment and life stability.

Currently, only 6.5% of eligible people are able to navigate the complex petition process required to access expungement – a few thousand people each year.  The average person that obtains an expungement sees a 25% increase in personal income within two years, thus the passage of legislation like the type introduced today, will help make stronger and safer
communities.

“Michigan’s clean slate legislation introduced today has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the state. It would expand the ability for people living with a past conviction to access jobs, education and housing opportunities that are key to stability and safe communities. By expunging old criminal records, Michigan will improve public safety, save taxpayer dollars and help ensure that people can successfully re-enter the workforce.” said Robert Rooks, Vice President of Alliance for Safety and Justice.

The proposed criminal justice package of bills were introduced this morning by a bipartisan group of legislators and are expected to be heard on Sept. 17 in committee hearings. “We wanted to ensure that people who have served their time and remained crime free, can have their records cleared so that they can be productive members of the workforce and their communities. Automatic expungements of criminal records will not only help us all have safer communities it will also help stop cycles of crime,” Rep. Graham Filler, chairman, House Judiciary Committee.

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