Oklahoma City, OK- Oklahoma legislators passed HB 3316, a bill that will use modern technology to automate expungement of old criminal records for thousands of Oklahomans who have served their time, met court requirements but have not obtained relief.
“Expungement reform allows individuals to move on from their past while reducing costly recidivism,” said Oklahoma Director of Right On Crime Marilyn Davidson. “I am so thankful for the staff, advocates, and legislators who worked on this bill to modernize Oklahoma’s expungement process.”
Bill author Rep. Nichole Miller and Sen. Adam Pugh led the efforts in the legislature, and HB 3316 now goes to the desk of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“This bill is a good step in clearing hurdles for Oklahomans who deserve the chance for better job prospects, housing options, and more educational opportunities,” said Brett Tolman, Executive Director of Right On Crime and former U.S. Attorney. “Evidence-based policy and conservative reforms to Oklahoma’s criminal justice system are working by saving Oklahoman’s millions of tax dollars, reducing recidivism and improving public safety.”
- 93% of individuals who are eligible for expungement do not obtain relief.
- Modernizing record expungement with technology will begin moving Oklahoma away from the current petition (paper-based) system.
- Expungement requirements do not change and focus on relatively narrow case types- like misdemeanors, acquittals and dismissed cases.
- Eligible individuals will no longer file a petition in court—a process that can be both expensive and time-intensive as courts process each paper petition individually, straining valuable judicial resources.
- “Clean Slate” expungement rewards good behavior and sentence enhancements.
- Expungement does not hide criminal records from law enforcement, but court records are sealed from public view for things like employment, housing, and education access.