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Connecticut Bill To Expunge Criminal Records Moves To Lamont's Desk

Prison Reform
Fifaliana Joy

Legislation that could automatically expunge the conviction records of around 300,000 people in Connecticut now awaits a signature from Governor Ned Lamont.

Starting in 2023, the bill would give those convicted a “clean slate” if they had stayed out of trouble over the past seven to 10 years.

People who have never served time in prison said their drug possession and other minor convictions have made it difficult to secure housing, go to school or find a job. They said the bill would help them get their lives on track.

Critics of the bill said it's unfair to crime victims, and they worry those with criminal records of more serious crimes — including hate crimes — would be in the clear.

The bill was changed during negotiations and no longer applies to some more serious felonies, like family violence, having a gun on school property and child abandonment.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.