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SB 1902 would amend the chapter for the “Department of Public Safety” within the Government Code to allow an order of nondisclosure to be made for eligible defendants at the time of dismissal and discharge for certain offenses. This bill would also allow criminal history record information that is subject to an order of nondisclosure to be admitted into evidence during trial and disclosed to a prosecuting attorney for a criminal justice purpose.
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.