As we think about a post-pandemic world, even when we’re still in the thick of this crisis, every federal office, state capitol, courthouse and mayor’s office should be asking: Why is our system of justice held together with the threads of 20th century technology and 19th century processes?
As the legislature returns to Raleigh to address COVID-19, they should consider the “Second Chance Act” as a worthy first step. Second chances for our most vulnerable neighbors matters now, more than ever.
Lawmakers in Congress are soon set to hear a bipartisan proposal that has the potential to help tens of thousands of Americans get a second chance by creating the first ever federal process for sealing criminal records.
Peter Rezk knows firsthand how the U.S. criminal justice system is failing young people of color like him. Each year, around 200,000 young people—many of whom are people of color—are caught up in the criminal justice system and arrested for minor offenses that could follow them for life. Clean slate legislation has the potential to change this system by ensuring that a criminal record is no longer a life sentence to poverty and joblessness.