For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Kimberly Deterline, [email protected], 510-410-6717
Julien Martinez, [email protected], 347-229-2517
Florida Crime Survivors Praise Final Senate Committee Passage of Record Sealing Bill That Supports Local Economy and Makes Florida Safer
SB 1302 would align state and local policy to ensure arrest records for people without convictions are sealed at the county level
TALLAHASSEE – Crime survivors across Florida today praised members of the Senate Appropriations Committee for bipartisan passage of SB 1302 – sponsored by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Pasco/Hillsborough) and Senator Keith Perry (R-Alachua/Putnam/Marion) – which would ensure the sealing of arrest records for those without convictions at the county level. While law enforcement would still have access to these records, this bill would allow people to keep stable jobs, maintain economic stability, and continue giving back to the community. This bill amends legislation overwhelmingly passed in 2019, which automatically sealed some arrest records with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that did not lead to convictions. In advocating for this approach, crime survivors have emphasized that removing obstacles to jobs and housing would help stop cycles of crime and strengthen communities hardest hit by violence.
Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a network of crime victims with over 8,000 members across Florida, has urged the legislature to pass SB 1302 – and companion bill HB 1259, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers) – as part of a comprehensive approach to tackling the root causes of crime and expanding support for crime victims. SB 1302 has passed the Committee on Regulated Industries and is now headed to the full Senate for a floor vote.
“The Florida legislature took a critical step forward in addressing the root causes of crime by passing record sealing legislation in 2019. Today, elected officials are reiterating their commitment to safety and proven solutions to making Florida safer. SB 1302 will provide a crucial tool to those seeking a stable life and hoping to give back to their communities. We thank Senators Burgess and Perry for their leadership and urge the legislature to pass this bill,” said Aswad Thomas, Chief of Organizing at Alliance for Safety and Justice, and National Director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.
“What crime survivors like me want most is to improve safety in our communities and prevent future victimization. SB 1302 is one common sense step we can take to strengthening communities, expanding opportunity, and improving safety,” said Darla Saunders, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice Tampa chapter coordinator. “Those who have been arrested – but not convicted – should be able to keep stable employment and live their lives with the security of knowing that their livelihoods will not be at risk. This leaves people better off and helps create safer communities. On behalf of crime survivors in Florida, we thank Senator Burgess and Senator Perry and look forward to working with legislators on passing SB 1302 to make us safer.”
The full text of the bill can be read here.
About the Alliance for Safety and Justice
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win evidence-based new safety priorities in states across the country. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 70,000 crime survivors with over 8000 members in Florida. For more information, visit: https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org or https://cssj.org.