Policy Studies Clean Slate

Michigan’s Opportunity To Promote Second Chances

Key Points

Expungements (also known as set-asides) are effective in improving employment and housing outcomes for those with criminal records. By improving wages and employment opportunities, individuals are able to better support themselves and their families–leading to positive economic outcomes for Michigan as well.
Set-asides for minor offenses can be successfully automated without any harms to public safety. Eligible individuals have satisfied the waiting period and have demonstrated their ability to remain crime-free. Indeed, expungements likely improve public safety–by clearing records and facilitating employment, people are less likely to resort to committing future crimes.
Without automation, over 90% of eligible Michiganders will not access relief or the benefits that come with clearing a criminal record. While automation may have short-term costs, the overall benefits to Michiganders support automating set-asides.

Until expungements are broadly and easily available, we are unlikely to see the full potential they offer, and the Clean Slate bill package offers such an opportunity.

Press release: A Second Chance for Michiganders

Featured Publications