STATEMENT: CAP Praises Colorado for Signing Clean Slate Legislation
Washington, D.C. — Today, Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed Colorado’s clean slate bill into law, making Colorado the latest state to enact clean slate automatic record clearance legislation. The bill passed the House chamber with bipartisan support earlier this month. In recognition of Colorado’s achievement, Akua Amaning, director for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
This transformative bill marks a major victory for Colorado, which joins a growing list of states enacting comprehensive, bipartisan clean slate legislation across the country, including Pennsylvania, Utah, Michigan, Connecticut, Delaware, and Oklahoma. This legislation will automatically seal the criminal records of approximately 1.3 million Coloradans, allowing these individuals a second chance at a brighter future while also strengthening public safety and reducing recidivism rates in the state overall.
A criminal record—no matter how old or how minor—can be an unjust barrier to reentry for people when 9 in 10 employers, 4 in 5 landlords, and 3 in 5 colleges and universities use background checks to screen applicants. Record clearance measures are crucial to ensuring that the collateral consequences that stem from a criminal record are eliminated or significantly reduced for the millions of individuals trying to rebuild their lives toward a successful future.
- “A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Be a Life Sentence to Poverty” by Rebecca Vallas, Sharon Dietrich, and Beth Avery
- “Advancing Clean Slate: The Need for Automatic Record Clearance During the Coronavirus Pandemic” by Akua Amaning
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