According to ACLU Connecticut, approximately 400,000 people live with criminal records in Nutmeg State. If passed, the Clean Slate Bill would erase recordings for more than half. (Adobe Stock)
By Michayla Savitt – Producer, Contact
June 1, 2021
HARTFORD, Connecticut – Supporters of criminal justice reform are optimistic that a Clean Slate bill will pass, which would clear the criminal records of some people convicted of Class D and E less misdemeanors and felonies. serious.
Senate Bill 1019 also states that a person can have their record cleared if they have served their sentence and have had no interaction with the criminal justice system for seven to ten years.
Gus Marks-Hamilton, Acting Smart Justice Campaign Director for the Connecticut ACLU, said people in the state with criminal records face consequences such as barriers to employment and housing, and should be given the opportunity to start from scratch.
“Because the people who have had their day, who have won the right to live their lives, have deserved the opportunity to live their lives, deserve a clean slate,” said Marks-Hamilton.
Count those with crimes C, D and E and most misdemeanors convictions That would allow about 250,000 people to have their records erased, Marks-Hamilton reported, but with an amendment to exclude Class C people and some D felony convictions, that number would drop.
Marks-Hamilton argued that opponents of the bill had misperceptions of felony convictions.
“When we get stuck on felony convictions and what the real offense was, we lose sight of the humanity of the people who live with those convictions,” said Marks-Hamilton. “Because at the end of the day, it’s really about people.”
He noted that the amendment has a particular impact on blacks and Latinxes in Connecticut, who make up 25% to 30% of the state’s population convicted of a felony.
Marks-Hamilton acknowledged that the Clean Slate measure would still help many people, but hopes the General Assembly will make the measure more inclusive in future sessions.
“This bill represents progress, but there is much more to be done in the state to ensure that the clean slate is available to everyone who needs it,” Marks-Hamilton concluded.
The measure passed in the House on Thursday and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Ned Lamont. If passed, it would come into force in January 2023.