The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee’s passage today of legislation to expand and simplify the state’s criminal record expungement process, House Bills 4980–4985.
The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.
“These bills today give thousands of Michigan residents a long-awaited clean slate and a new lease on life. Despite not only paying for their mistakes at the time, but seizing the opportunity to learn from them and change their behavior, these individuals have continued to suffer dire consequences long after their sentences were served. We want to thank Safe & Just Michigan and our other advocacy partners, the business community and all of the individuals who shared their experiences and lent their voices to this effort. We are especially grateful to the bill sponsors, Chairs Filler and Lucido and Democrats and Republicans alike not just for taking up this important issue, but for working through and ironing out the points of difference in order to reach a compromise.
“The Michigan League for Public Policy has been advocating for expanded and automatic criminal record expungement for years as a way to help improve the lives of individuals while strengthening our workforce as a whole and supporting our businesses. We are pleased to see the Legislature continue to act on these important, universally beneficial criminal justice reforms.
“And while further action is needed to move Senate Bills 681 and 682 forward, we also appreciate the discussion regarding juvenile record expungement and confidentiality. Much like Raise the Age, immature decisions and juvenile records should not follow kids for the rest of their lives—it is a disservice to their rehabilitation and redemption. The committee members, including the bills’ two main sponsors, clearly see the value of this concept with action on adult expungement, and the Legislature should extend these same benefits to youth offenders as well.”
FOR ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:
League Report, May 2019: Thriving on the outside: How Michigan can help the formerly incarcerated become gainfully employed
League Owner’s Manual Priority: Put Justice-Involved Residents Back on the Road