Governor Chris Christie Announces Deal on Expungement Bills

Posted on July 12th, 2017 No Comments

Earlier this month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced three bills that aim to give former inmates a better chance at finding a job. This legislation deal is a product of Christie’s discussions with State Senator Sandra Cunningham, a long-time proponent of expungement. Last year, Christie signed a bill proposed by Cunningham, called the “ban the box” legislation, that prevents employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal history early on in the interview process. The newest legislation signed this month has strengthened the ban the box law to include language in the original bill for those who have had their records expunged. The second bill shortens the waiting time to expunge an entire juvenile record from five years to three years. Lastly, the third bill increases the number of offenses a person can get expunged from three to four. The bill also reduces the expungement eligibility waiting time from ten years to six years and allows for the expungement for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell up to one ounce.

Christie aims to give people a second chance with the trio of new bills. The governor stated that these bills “prevent a childhood or adolescent mistake from ruining someone’s future, while still ensuring there are appropriate consequences for unlawful behavior and lessons are learned.” Senator Cunningham explained that the goal of the new legislation is about “removing barriers for residents and helping them to overcome the obstacles that exist to finding employment, taking care of their families and setting their lives on the right path.”

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