States across the country are taking action to enact clean slate policies. This toolkit includes the following ways to join the campaign and take action: talking points, frequently asked questions, sample op-eds, sample letters to the editor, and sample social media and shareable graphics.
"I just quit trying because I knew I would be judged for something I was so desperately trying to change. It followed me everywhere."
It took Catie Cartisano three years, an attorney, and $3,000 to get her criminal record cleared. Under Utah’s current law, people with certain criminal records are eligible to have their records cleared, but the process can be confusing and costly—and after 90 days, if you haven’t completed the process, it starts again. People with criminal records often face barriers to jobs, education, and housing that make it difficult for them to succeed and contribute to society. But after a record is cleared, a person is 11 percent more likely get a job and earn 22 percent higher wages. Clean slate legislation seeks to automate the record-clearing process to help people get the second chance they deserve.
In 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) signed the Clean Slate Act, making Pennsylvania the first state in the nation to enact automated clearing of criminal records by technology. By June 28, 2019, statewide automated clearing will be implemented for the first time, and hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will face brighter futures as a result. At present, Community Legal Services (CLS) and its many partners across the state are working to ensure the fullest possible implementation of the law. This paper discusses the progress that has been made toward implementing clean slate policies in Pennsylvania.
Criminal records are often a barrier to employment, housing, and education opportunities. Utah’s current state laws allow people with certain criminal records to have their records cleared, though the process can be expensive and take years to finalize. The complicated expungement system continues to punish people who have already paid their debt to society. Clean slate legislation seeks to make this process easier by using technology to automatically clear criminal records for people with misdemeanors, minor infractions, acquittals, and dismissals. Clearing these criminal records will give Utahns the second chance they deserve.
In Utah, current law allows people with certain criminal records to petition to have their records cleared. However, the process is often so long, confusing, and expensive, that thousands of people who are eligible don’t pursue the option. Clean slate legislation uses technology to automate the record-clearing process, which reduces the administrative burden for the state and removes barriers that prevent people who have paid their debt to society from getting a fair shot at a second chance.
Under the current petition-based process, thousands of Utahns who are eligible to have their records cleared are forced to pay hundreds of dollars in attorney and filing fees to navigate an outdated expungement process. Clean slate legislation sponsored by Utah state Rep. Eric Hutchings (R) would fix that. By using technology to automatically clear records for people already eligible, Utah’s clean slate legislation would save Utah money and help thousands of the state’s citizens get back to work.
In an op-ed for The Hill, Gov. Tom Wolf discusses how thousands of Pennsylvanians are one step closer to a second chance thanks to the state’s bipartisan criminal justice clean slate legislation that took effect in December 2018. Clean slate legislation not only removes barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records, but it also saves millions of taxpayer dollars and make communities safer.