House Judiciary Committee advances Reps. Blunt Rochester, Reschenthaler Criminal Justice Reform Bill
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 2864, the Clean Slate Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (D-Pa.) to give more than 70 million Americans with low-level and nonviolent criminal records a second chance to fully participate in society. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
More than one in three adults have some form of a criminal record, keeping them from participating in many facets of everyday life as nearly nine in ten employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges utilize background checks to screen applicants.
Currently, the federal government lacks any meaningful way to clear federal criminal records, regardless of whether they resulted in an actual conviction. The Clean Slate Act aims to address this issue by automatically sealing federal arrest records for individuals not convicted and records for individuals convicted of low-level, nonviolent drug offenses after successfully completing their sentence. It would also establish new procedures to allow individuals to petition to seal records for other nonviolent offenses that are not automatically sealed.
The Clean Slate Act is endorsed by Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Brennan Center for Justice, Business Roundtable, Center for American Progress, Code for America, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, Due Process Institute, Faith and Freedom Coalition, JPMorgan Chase, Justice Action Network, R Street Institute, Responsible Business Initiative, Right on Crime, and Walmart.