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SB 130 would allow those convicted and placed on community supervision and whose convictions were later set aside by a judge to be able to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure. For a misdemeanor offense a person would be able to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure after the conviction has been set aside. For a felony, a person would have to wait until the fifth anniversary of the date when the conviction was set aside in order to be eligible to file a petition for nondisclosure.
After an order of nondisclosure is granted, a criminal justice agency would still be able to disclose this information to other criminal justice agencies and other entities specified in statute.
No amendments or modifications have been made to the bill since we reported on it.
First chamber analysis:
This bill would allow for an order of nondisclosure of criminal records in certain circumstances which research indicates will help to reduce recidivism. This bill would promote self-responsibility and self-sufficiency by removing barriers to employment and housing for certain low-level offenders by enabling them to keep their record discreet. This bill would promote the personal responsibility of eligible people with criminal records to move on with their lives and be more productive members of society.
One of the great barriers to people after their release from the criminal justice system is that, due to the proliferation of background checks as a condition of employment and occupational licensure, many people with a record of even minor infractions from the distant past have great difficulty finding decent paying gainful employment. This leads to a cycle of economic disenfranchisement, poverty, and all too often a return to illicit activity. All of these factors are harmful to the individuals involved and to society at large. This bill seeks to address those issues and affect positive change for people who want to leave their past behind them and be productive members of society.
We support this bill for promoting individual liberty and personal responsibility.