Everyday Injustice Podcast Episode 210: Christie Smith and Clean Slate Legislation

This week on Everyday Injustice we are joined by Christie Smith of R Street, who argues that clean slate legislation both enhances public safety and helps to stimulate the economy.

One of the problems with mass incarceration is that large numbers of people are churned in and out of the criminal legal system, incarcerated, then they are released but their criminal records prevent them from getting access to the things they need to succeed—jobs, services, housing and education.

Clean slate legislation allows for people convicted of certain offenses to have their records sealed, so they can qualify for things like jobs, education and housing.

As Smith puts it in one of her published reports, “One in three Americans, roughly 70 to 100 million, have a criminal record that limits their earning capacity and options for suitable housing, as well as makes it more challenging to remain law-abiding.”

In a lot of cases, we are not talking about serious or violent crime, “but rather due to the ever-widening net of ‘tough-on-crime’ legislation that criminalizes poverty, substance use and mental illness.”

Listen as Christie Smith talks about the problem and how clean slate legislation helps to solve that problem and the success they have had so far.

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