2nd-Chance Bills Become Law; Expungement Fair Coming To Georgetown

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Three ‘restorative justice’ bills have become law in Delaware.

Governor John Carney signed legislation Monday that expands second-chance opportunities. What is called the Clean Slate Act (SB 111) automates Delaware’s existing expungement process for thousands of adults and juveniles by eliminating the requirement for them to first file a petition with the State Bureau of Identification.

Mandatory expungement can now apply for offenders of certain charges such as marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia possession and underage possession or use of alcohol. (SB 112)

A third bill makes technical changes. (SS1 for SB38)

“I’ve said before that talk is cheap, and it’s on us to make progress,” Carney said. “This has been an incredibly productive session for the General Assembly on making meaningful change to criminal justice reforms. Thank you to the members of the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus for leading the Justice for All Agenda, to the members of the General Assembly, and to the many advocates who worked on these important pieces of legislation.”

The sponsor of the Bills, State Senator Darius Brown, D-Wilmington is also leading a series of expungement fairs to help Delawareans learn more about second chance opportunities. Sussex County’s event will be held at Georgetown Town Hall next Tuesday November 16th between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. For more information on expungement fairs, please CLICK HERE

“A second chance allows individuals to start anew. These bills expand access to record clearing and make it easier for people to take the first step towards a life free from the collateral consequences of a criminal record,” Delaware Office of Defense Services chief of legal services Lisa Minutola said. “If we are all judged by the worst thing we’ve ever done, what does that say about us as a society? We need laws that govern with compassion and empathy, and that recognize people have a great capacity to change over time. The Clean Slate Act models just that.” 

“Today, Delaware joins a short list of national leaders who are choosing to propel economic recovery and public safety through SB 111 and SB 112,” Clean Slate Delaware campaign manager John Reynolds added. “Most Delawareans with a record face significant barriers to education, employment, housing, credit, and other opportunities to become productive, contributing members of society. This can lead to further arrests, convictions and returns to prison. Because of Clean Slate, hundreds of thousands of people will gain access to the second chance they deserve.” 

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