August 29, 2016
In an effort to bring real change to the way in which Florida treats people with criminal records, Expeal is hosting a free expungement and voter registration fair. Not only will Expeal help clear records, but we will also register people to vote in the upcoming elections.
July 28, 2016
Joining pro-business groups in Kentucky, Florida TaxWatch has come forward to suggest ways in which the state can improve re-entry efforts, part of which includes an alternative to the sealing and expungement system in place right now - a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
January 14, 2016
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled the laws in at least eleven different states violated the Fourth Amendment by criminalizing the act of refusing to allow a warrantless blood test in association with a DUI arrest. A breathalyzer test, on the other hand, did not impact a person's privacy the same way.
June 22, 2016
Proving yet again that any sentence is a life sentence, new FAA rules require criminal background checks and security clearance from the TSA to fly a drone. Commentators, like Virginia Commonwealth University Honors Students went so far as to recommend barring anyone with violent or sexual charges.
June 20, 2016
Wichita kids are being given a second chance by Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters with free expungement services in July. For those who qualify, they will not only get their records cleared, but they'll get it done for free and with the help of lawyers working under a Department of Labor grant.
June 9, 2016
Even though more than 31 states made it easier to erase your criminal record, whether by sealing or expunging it, most Americans that qualify still don't go through with the process. A lot of people simply don't know you can clear your record, but a good number of others can't afford it.
March 14, 2016
One group in Iowa took a chance and created a program that allows inmates to obtain certification and hands-on experience through an apprenticeship program. Costing only a bit more than $600 per person, successful candidates who re-enter society with a new set of skills have already reported success.
January 21, 2016
Adding yet another potential way to have a request to seal or expunge a record in Florida denied, Lake Worth City Commissioners are one step away from making it a crime to be on public property at night. The punishment if convicted is a trespassing violation and a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 60 days in jail.
January 19, 2016
The top 5 candidates for the Republican Party's Presidential Nominee have some well-known positions and other relatively new positions on a wide range of topics that touch on the topic. Using quotes throughout the years, it is possible to get an idea as to who will support the bi-partisan efforts for true reform.
January 6, 2016
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is doing something most politicians don't do - keeping his campaign promises. Having made re-entry of those with criminal records a cornerstone of his election campaign, he is following up 2015's expansion of qualifying charges with yet another round.
December 16, 2015
Never has a group of professionals worked so tirelessly for the common good and received little, if any credit, like the public defender. Facing budget cuts to the point where attorneys have caseloads that are 10 times the allowed amount, giving only 7 minutes a case, it sometimes seems impossible that justice is ever doled out in our courts.
The first Chicago official to lose their job over the Laquan McDonald shooting scandal was a big one. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, known for having been poached from the NYPD by the Newark PD and then the Chicago PD, was asked to resign by Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning.
August 13, 2015
One of the places where money matters the most is the period of time between arrest and trial. If you want to see how the rich and poor are treated differently, take a look at who is able to get out before trial and who has to sit in jail, regardless of what that means for their financial ability to defend themselves.
April 22, 2018
The process to restore a former felon's voting rights has long been decried as onerous and unfair. A federal judge agreed, ruling the entire process was not only full of prejudice, but completely unconstitutional. This ruling and an amendment to automatically restore felon's rights are shaking up Florida politics.
August 15, 2016
By making a bold push towards real criminal justice reform, St. Petersburg and the rest of Pinellas County are providing a real model for the rest of Florida. Together with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, an alternative sentencing program is providing a real second chance.
July 14, 2016
Everyone knows ex-cons who can't expunge their records aren't rich. The fact they started a fundraiser on behalf of kids in a juvenile detention facility was news enough. To see what happened when reddit found out about their efforts is just crazy.
June 23, 2016
"Our Voices Are Rarely Heard" is a powerful short documentary that outlines the mental anguish and horror caused by solitary confinement in one of America's most notorious prisons, Pelican Bay. This 6 minute video will give you a sneak peak at how we treat people in custody.
June 21, 2016
Public housing was supposed to serve as a guarantee for all Americans that they will always be able to find a safe and sanitary home to live in so that they can focus on building their lives up from there. For those with a criminal record, that option is snatched from them. It is time for that to change.
March 18, 2016
Looking to join the growing wave of states, counties, and even city governments, Alabama begins discussing a "Ban The Box" law of their own. Looking to improve job opportunities, and through that, lowering recidivism rates, a law allowing an applicant to be interviewed as if their record is sealed or expunged is moving forward.
March 11, 2016
California state legislators made a move in 2014 to help Californians obtain a fresh start and a clean record when they passed Proposition 47. Santa Cruz County alone has over 11,000 people that qualify. This country was built on giving people a chance and that's exactly what this law does.
January 21, 2016
After handing down punishments to other national companies found violating "Ban The Box" rules, New York's State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was not done - Big Lots and Marshalls have both been fined and required to step up efforts to hire more ex-cons throughout the state.
January 18, 2016
The Minneapolis City Council made the formal moves required to bring the city's punishments for marijuana possession in line with the rest of the state. Not only that, but the Councilmen who made the proposal are also looking to make the fine even lower than required by the state of Minnesota.
January 5, 2016
The impact of the War On Drugs has been felt by racial minorities for decades. Heroin has long been a part of that problem. In the last few years, heroin - and with it the War On Drugs - has started to hit white communities harder than ever before. Once and for all, we are all united.
December 3, 2015
Keith Wood was charged with a felony for obstructing justice and a misdemeanor for tampering with a jury all because he was passing out flyers that told you what we are about to tell you - a jury can nullify a law, rendering it ineffective. Learn more about jury nullification.
October 18, 2015
The War on Drugs and the Tough on Crime movement is directly responsible for most of the mandatory minimums judges are forced to follow today. Supporters of the new laws theorized that the harsh penalties would convince criminals not to act. The plan backfired drastically, causing society untold harm.
July 30, 2015
We put together 5 different maps visualizing the statistics related to the incarceration rates in the United States. It is no secret that our country puts more people in prison than anywhere else in the world, but there are also other astonishing numbers - like the number of people in prison even though they haven't been sentenced.
January 28, 2017
For the fifth year in a row, a Florida State Senator has introduced a bill that will require mug shot publishing websites to remove the photos of those who opt out, and to do so without any fee. Additionally, CS/SB 118 expands the types of charges that can be expunged right away. It will need the support of the public if it is going to pass this time.
August 4, 2016
An ex-con from Florida was serving a life sentence without parole for a non-violent drug felony. President Obama, recognizing the issue with this, commuted his sentence. Months later, the ex-con sends a thank you letter to President Obama that the President used as inspiration for 214 new commutations.
June 25, 2016
Signing what will hopefully by the first of several criminal justice reform related bills, Governor Rick Snyder approved SB0251, a law sponsored and championed by State Senator John Proos. SB0251 will allow juveniles to enter into what amounts to alternative sentencing, avoiding a criminal record.
June 22, 2016
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is spearheading a number of efforts towards improving the lives of Kentucky's residents. By expanding expungement availability and now creating CJPAC (a bipartisan council tasked with proposing a complete overhaul of the system) Gov. Bevin serves as a role model to his colleagues.
June 20, 2016
York County Juvenile Probation has a program that helps first-time juvenile offenders leave the judicial system with a community-centered support network, a clear criminal record, and automatic expungement of their name from arrest records - and now they need your help.
March 16, 2016
After hearing their constituents' voices loud and clear, the Missouri State Legislature makes the necessary moves to expand their criminal record expungement law. With the support of citizens and prosecutors alike, non-violent low-misdemeanors will potentially qualify to be expunged.
March 10, 2016
Broome County has gone a long way to make sure drug addiction is treated as the health problem it is. By providing for Drug Court as an alternative to jail or prison for those who are not registered sex offenders, violent criminal, or drug dealers but are convicted for drug-related charges. Successful completion can even result in dismissal.
January 19, 2016
Traditionally viewed as the home of criminal justice reform and civil rights, the Democratic candidates vary widely in their positions related to what should be done moving forward. This is actually consistent with the reality of the Democrats efforts to bring real justice.
January 7, 2016
Patience has paid off for Kentucky's residents as bi-partisan support has built for a new expungement law, one that will allow people convicted of Class D felonies to qualify for Expeal. On top of misdemeanors, over 94,000 people will qualify.
December 21, 2015
In a move that will hopefully start a trend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting the process for obtaining a youthful pardon into overdrive. By actively seeking out qualified individuals, thousands of New Yorkers will get the second chance they've earned after all these years.
For some of our older readers, this story must hit home. Letting your kids play outside is now called "free-range parenting". Even worse, it can lead to an arrest. Remember - just because a person has a criminal record doesn't mean they are dangerous.
September 8, 2015
As various governments increase spending, economies change, and tax revenues fluctuate, municipalities have begun to look to 'alternative' measures to balance their budgets. Some of those politicians and officers, like those in Ferguson, Missouri, have literally begun to put people who don't pay in jail.
July 7, 2015
Sometimes, it is easier to get an idea of how bad things have gotten in terms of imprisonment and arrests by looking at the statistics gathered in one place. Using the latest numbers, we explore how the number of people we put behind bars have skyrocketed only recently.