More states pushing 'Clean Slate' legislation to clear former convicts

More states pushing ‘Clean Slate’ legislation to clear former convicts

New York’s Clean Slate Act bill would automatically seal the records of offenders who have served their sentence plus stayed out of trouble for several years afterward — three years for misdemeanors and seven years for most felonies.

That said, an unexpected proponent has been local business leaders across the state — claiming the change could provide a boon to the economy.

The New York bill has received support from JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, and the Business Council of New York State.

“The Clean Slate act really has built up a pretty diverse and fascinating coalition around it,” said Ames Grawert, from the Brennan Center for Justice. Grawert claims New York state could be losing $7.1 billion annually due to underemployment among those with a criminal record.

“It’s about giving people a real meaningful second chance after conviction, and making sure they can compete for jobs and housing on an equal footing with other people,” he said.

The Chamber of Commerce claims the U.S. is missing out on $78 billion by excluding formerly incarcerated job seekers.