California Proposes Bill to Automatically Seal Criminal Records

Millions of Californians face problems for years, or entire lifetimes, after making a single bad decision. Even without a criminal conviction, a simple arrest can make it difficult, if not impossible for people to find housing, employment or obtain professional licenses.

California’s automatic criminal record relief would not apply to serious crimes such as murder or rape and would relieve former criminals of the stigma that currently follows them.

According to statistics, eight million Californians have a criminal record. This law would apply to arrests and convictions dating back decades, automatically sealing records and allowing people to move forward and rehabilitate.

The proposal would simply automatically seal records that currently can be sealed by request and thus has raised few public objections.

The full text of the bill can be found on the California Legislature’s website. The New York Times article can be found here.

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