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The Case for Expunging Criminal Records 

While it’s no secret that those with criminal records face obstacles in employment, housing and education, criminal justice reform efforts have been focused on finding tools that will allow some to navigate those barriers. Expungement is allowed in at least 36 states, but depends on the number of convictions, the type of crime and the amount of time that has passed since completing a sentence. Some states, like California, are allowing automatic expungement of misdemeanors and minor felonies after completion of a sentence. A recent study led by Professors J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr of the University of Michigan Law School has revealed key findings regarding the topic: 1. Within a year, on average, the wages of people who get expungements go up by more than 20 percent; 2. Crime rates for those with expunged records are considerably lower than those of Michigan’s general adult population; and 3. Expungement recipients aren’t likely to offend again.

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Posted Under: Criminal Records

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