News 9.24.20

Clean Slate Initiative Celebrates Passage of Michigan’s Automated Criminal Record Expungement Legislation


Thursday, September 24, 2020



Tricia Busch



Clean Slate Initiative Celebrates Passage of Michigan’s Automated Criminal Record Expungement Legislation

Michigan legislature sends Governor most expansive automated record clearance measure to date, becomes the third state in US to pass Clean Slate law


LANSING — Today, the Clean Slate Initiative (CSI), a national bipartisan movement to automatically clear criminal records and ensure second chances for tens of millions of Americans across the country, lauds the Michigan state legislature’s passage of a groundbreaking Clean Slate package.

Once these bills are signed into law, Michigan will become the state with the most expansive clean slate policy in the country. The package of bills will automatically expunge simple misdemeanors and non-assaultive felonies from the records of hundreds of Michiganders who have lived crime-free for at least seven years, and give thousands more the opportunity to apply for the expungement of other old convictions. 

“Michigan is on its way to becoming the nation’s third state to enact Clean Slate legislation. As we celebrate National Expungement Week, this milestone underscores the growing support in states for giving millions who have stayed crime-free a fair shot at a second chance,” said Sheena Meade, Clean Slate Initiative Managing Director. “As COVID-19 creates unprecedented unemployment, housing instability and economic insecurity, automated expungement of criminal records offers an even more critical tool for advancing equity and an inclusive economic recovery for families already facing tremendous barriers because of criminal records that perpetuate stigma and limit opportunity. Thanks to the leadership of organizations like Safe & Just Michigan, the Detroit Justice Center, Nation Outside, JustLeadershipUSA, Michigan Faith in Action, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Alliance for Safety & Justice, Crime Survivors for Safety & Justice and Americans for Prosperity, a criminal record will no longer be a life sentence to poverty in Michigan. We applaud the legislators, business groups, and innumerable stakeholders from across the political spectrum who supported this smart policy and helped see it through.”

Clean Slate policies have already passed in Pennsylvania and Utah with overwhelming bipartisan support. In Pennsylvania alone, 35 million records have already been cleared thanks to this law, and bipartisan demand for this commonsense reform is growing across the country. New Jersey and West Virginia have also passed measures that lay the groundwork for automated record clearance.

Once signed by the Governor, the Clean Slate Initiative partners will continue working for strong implementation of this landmark law — clearing barriers for hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan, opening pathways for economic, educational, and housing opportunities, and finally providing the second chance we all deserve. 

Read more about Clean Slate Michigan and its supporters here


The Clean Slate Initiative is a bipartisan national movement to automate the clearing of criminal records that block second chances for tens of millions of Americans. Following decades of overcriminalization, between 70 million and 100 million Americans have some type of criminal record—nearly half of all children in America have a parent with a record. In the digital era, with nearly 9 in 10 employers now using criminal background checks, any criminal record—no matter how old or minor—can be a life sentence to poverty.