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‘Clean Slate’ and ‘Expungement’ Legislation May Bring Change to Background Screening, Opines

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January 10, 2018 Return to News & Events

‘Clean Slate’ and ‘Expungement’ Legislation May Bring Change to Background Screening, Opines

Reform may be the word of 2019, at least in regards to conviction records and how they are ‘viewed’ as part of background screening.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines: “With the rapid expansion of Ban-the-Box legislation and the subtle transition from banning the box about criminal background to greater Clean Slate and expungement policies, background screening may be poised for significant change in 2019.”

Across the country laws and attitudes governing criminal background records, as used in pre-employment background screening and expungement, overall have changed. Momentum has increased with further updates to the criminal justice system and, subsequently, reform continues.

From (Jan 06, 19):

Prison reform advocates are asking lawmakers to pass legislation that would expunge the records of many convicts.

The "Clean Slate" legislation would eliminate the criminal records of people once they are released from prison and have stayed crime-free for a significant period of time.

Advocates suggest three years for misdemeanors and five years for non-violent felonies. (1)

In Massachusetts a local District Attorney is looking to control the expungement of criminal records.

From (Dec 13, 18):

Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, but a past conviction for possession is still part of a person’s criminal record.

Now it’s one of the crimes the state will allow people to put behind them forever and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey is working with court and probation workers to help people clear their record. (2)

Almeida states: “Evolving attitudes in Massachusetts combined with legalization of marijuana has pushed lawmakers to review criminal policies. Expungement is seen as a means to clean up records with some misdemeanors and minor felonies. It is a tool designed to assist formerly convicted individuals reintegrate into society, and it is seen as a key tool to belay potential recidivism.”

Pennsylvania recently enacted “Clean Slate” legislation.

From (Jan 06, 19):

People with old criminal records may have a chance at a fresh start through new state legislation that recently went into effect.

The Clean Slate program, which expands criminal record sealing, took effect Dec. 26. The legislation allows more people with minor convictions or arrests, including some first-degree misdemeanors, to petition the courts to have their records sealed after 10 years with no subsequent convictions. (3)

In Las Vegas a former State Senator is seeking to eliminate minor marijuana convictions but there are challenges.

From (Jan 04, 19):

Nevada laws do not enable prosecutors to expunge the criminal records of individuals convicted on misdemeanor marijuana charges. Individuals must petition courts on their own, which opponents … view as an “expensive, cumbersome” process. (4)

In the end a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified pre-employment background screening agency.

Almeida states: “Working with a third-party background screening agency is key to staying ahead of laws governing employment screening as well as assisting in compliance.” is a third-party background screening company that can provide compliant solutions for all screening requirements. From pre-employment to post-hire screening, as well as volunteer, caregiver and nanny checks, provides background screening services across a broad array of industries. From the smallest organization to the largest corporation, can fulfill every background screening requirement.






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