CriminalBackgroundRecords.com Comments on Recent Movement to Expunge Non-Violent Criminal Records

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Recently the City of Detroit launched a program to assist non-violent offenders expunge criminal background records as an effort to assist individuals in finding gainful employment (1) Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com comments: "The new program from the City of Detroit highlights the need to review expungement opportunities for all non-violent convictions and, combined with recent scrutiny of criminal records histories used in background screening, may be the best path forward to gainful employment for many individuals."

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

Bringing to light the opportunity for expungement is a great step forward and Detroit and Oakland are leading the way, but expungement can be a challenging task, one requiring a petition of the court and working through the judicial system.

In June of 2016 the City of Detroit launched a new program designed to assist non-violent offenders in expunging criminal records with the goal of helping these individuals gain employment. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com comments: "A criminal record for a minor or non-violent offense can end up being a life sentence insomuch it will always follow someone seeking employment and this program is an important step forward."

In the past several years the use of criminal records history as utilized for pre-employment background screening has come under greater scrutiny, as far as the fair, legal, and lawful use in hiring is concerned. Many states and cities have created so-called "Ban-The-Box" legislation that forbids public and, in some cases, private employer's from asking about criminal history until a conditional offer of employment is made.

Detroit is going a step further and assisting those individuals with non-violent convictions expunge those records in order to find gainful employment.

From deadlinedetroit.com (Jun. 4, 16):

Criminal records can often be an impediment to getting hired. The City of Detroit wants to change that. (2)

Almeida comments: "The recent actions by Detroit highlight rapid changes over the use of criminal records. Just as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development updated recent guidance's regarding the fair and legal use of criminal background checks, actions by Detroit and other municipalities go an extra step to seal those records in certain cases."

In Oakland, California a Councilwoman is calling for the expungement of marijuana related convictions in order to allow greater access to the burgeoning marijuana economy.

From SFGate.com (Jun. 4, 16):

Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is calling on the state to expunge all marijuana-related criminal records... She said that people who were convicted years ago may still be denied jobs, affordable housing or student loans. “So they’re punished over and over again for something that society now doesn’t think is a crime.” (3)

Almeida comments: "Bringing to light the opportunity for expungement is a great step forward and Detroit and Oakland are leading the way, but expungement can be a challenging task, one requiring a petition of the court and working through the judicial system."

Expunging a criminal record can be a life altering event, especially considering that a criminal record may not necessarily involve just arrest and conviction.

From a New York Times op-ed written by Tina Rosenberg and dated May 24, 2016:

"According to the National Employment Law Project, half the arrest records in the F.B.I.’s database carry no information about the case’s disposition. Your record might list an arrest for a serious crime — but omit the information that the case was dropped." (4)

Almeida comments: "It is clear that the time is now for anyone with a non-violent criminal record or minor offense look into the possibility of expungement. While it is not easy it is possible and will change life significantly."

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company that can guide an individual in an expungement process. For more information go to criminalbackgroundrecords.com.

Notes:

(1)    deadlinedetroit.com/articles/15090/city_launches_initiative_to_expunge_criminal_records_assist_in_job_search#.V1cm8_krKM8
(2)    ibid.
(3)    sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-councilwoman-calls-on-state-to-expunge-7679090.php
(4)    nytimes.com/2016/05/24/opinion/have-you-ever-been-arrested-check-here.html

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