Clean SLATE: An Efficient Solution to a Messy Problem
The process of obtaining an expungement is complicated. It requires people to purchase background checks and look up dates of incarceration from the Department of Corrections. Even after navigating this messiness, Louisianans face the HIGHEST EXPUNGEMENT COSTS IN THE COUNTRY AT $550. Complicating matters, Louisiana courts are backed up, overstressed, and economically inefficient delaying expungements for the public. Because of the complicated process, only a small fraction of those eligible to receive expungements get them. Even worse while people may receive an expungement there is no guarantee their sealed records will not show up in background checks. Further federal laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act allow companies to report incorrect information including sealed records and arrests that did not lead to convictions. It is on individual citizens to notify and dispute agencies that the information is incorrect.
Nationwide, the U.S. economy loses $87 billion by shutting
otherwise qualified individuals out of the economy.
In Louisiana 1.2 million citizens, over one third of the
state, have an arrest or conviction record that can
undermine their efforts to obtain gainful employment.
This has a ripple effect not only on the economy but also for
families: almost half of U.S. children have one parent with a
criminal record. Studies have shown this impacts children's
development, school performance, and outcomes in
Clean Slate legislation provides an efficient fix to Louisiana's troubled expungement system. Proposed legislation would create an automated system allowing those who are eligible to have their records sealed. Other states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah have passed Clean Slate legislation with support from both parties. In Pennsylvania, the first state to pass Clean Slate legislation, over 30 million records have been sealed in its first year alone! Passing Clean Slate legislation would help get Louisianans back on their feet, into good jobs, and moving forward with their lives. JAC needs YOUR help in telling your representatives to pass Clean Slate legislation NOW! Contact your state representative here!
See how Utah's law enforcement, formerly incarcerated, district attorneys, and judges came together to pass common sense Clean Slate legislation below.
Clean Slate Bills to Support
HB-178: Supports the practice of judges who currently use alternatives to incarceration by extending eligibility for expungements, especially in cases where defendants are in recovery treatment programs. Follow HB-178 here!
HB-179: Provides an opportunity for people with disabilities, veteran's who may suffer from PTSD and cannot work, family members or caretakers of disabled veterans who cannot work, and retired people to benefit from expungement by eliminating the current requirement for ten years of employment documentation for six specific convictions.
HB-241: Allows individuals who are ALREADY eligible for multiple expungements to achieve reentry success sooner by eliminating secondary waiting periods. This bill also clarifies that the current prohibition on expungements applies only to individuals in physical custody of the Department of Corrections.
HB-510: Allows the Louisiana State Police to share confidentially de-identified criminal justice system data with the Task Force's technical assistance partners so that we can guide the scope and process of Clean Slate automation for Louisiana moving forward. Understanding the scope and process of Clean Slate in Louisiana helps to anticipate costs for a new automated system.
HCR-29: Creates the Clean Slate Task Force, which is an extension of the HCR 106 Clean Slate Study Group that JAC Co-Chaired with East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore. The Task Force will analyze Louisiana criminal record data with the goal of implementing an automatic record-clearing system, recommend legislation necessary to create this automatic record-clearing system, and determine the amount of funds needed to create the automatic record-clearing system.
SB-220: Jump start our economy and get more people back to work by reducing expungement wait times, providing opportunities for all formerly incarcerated people to benefit from expungement, and eliminating financial barriers to expungement for first time offenders.
Clean Slate in the News
Law enforcement officials support clean slate. Read here!
Read NFL players Malcolm Jenkins and Torrey Smith's article on the importance of Clean Slate. Read here!
Research finds expungements lead to increased wages and decreased recidivism. Read here!
Leading conservative policy group R-Street has supported Clean Slate initiatives. Read here!
Learn more about the national Clean Slate movement by reading the Clean Slate Toolkit here!
Clean Slate Bills to Support
Contact your state representative HERE!