WASHINGTON (Feb. 10, 2020) – Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont introduced a clean slate bill on Wednesday as part of his State of the State address.

In a new policy short, R Street Associate Director of Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Nila Bala discusses how criminal records create enormous barriers to employment, housing and educational opportunities that linger far beyond the point when a person has served their sentence and paid their debt to society.

Bala argues that expungement, known as an “absolute pardon” in Connecticut, can ameliorate this issue and truly give people second chances. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of those who are eligible for pardons seek and apply for relief because of how difficult and bureaucratic the current process is.

She explains that a clean slate bill in Connecticut would automate pardons for those who are eligible and bring relief to thousands of justice-involved individuals.

The author concludes, “in the coming legislative session, Connecticut has an opportunity to significantly change the barriers justice-involved individuals face with the passage of a ‘clean slate’ bill.”