Why Clean Slate? To remove barriers to employment and reduce recidivism.

Key Points:

  • Over 4 million Texans live with a criminal record.
  • Within two years, the Pennsylvania Clean Slate law helped over 1 million Pennsylvanians.
  • Following Pennsylvania, four states have passed Clean Slate legislation, including Utah, Michigan, New Jersey, and Delaware.
  • Individuals that would achieve a sealed record through Clean Slate legislation are already eligible for nondisclosure through existing law.
  • People with criminal records who have remained crime-free for 4 to 7 years are no more likely than the general population to commit a new crime.

Texas should automate the record sealing process for those already entitled to an Order of Nondisclosure. Through the Department of Public Safety’s Computerized Criminal History System, Texas could create an automated eligibility determination that would automatically seal records. This allows court resources to be used more efficiently, eliminates all fees and forms, and would no longer require the record holder to initiate the petition process—helping speed up the process to record relief and removing barriers to individuals getting back to work.

Read the full brief here: