Imagine if a government database entry was keeping you out of a job, a home or from going to school. This is the reality for roughly 1 in 3 Americans, for whom a long-ago interaction with police may have led to an arrest or conviction record.
In the digital era, landlords, employers and educators use criminal records to screen applicants, meaning that any record — no matter how small or long ago — is now a life sentence to poverty for millions of Americans. Across the country, many states have attempted to put in place comprehensive expungement and record clearance measures, but federal criminal records still prevent people from rebuilding their lives and participating in society.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill.
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