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A Chance at a Fresh Start

Current law allows Louisianans to seal certain records of nonviolent and lower-level misdemeanors and felonies if ten years have elapsed and the person remains crime-free. This policy should be expanded to additional Louisianans who have earned a chance at a fresh start. Those who have been deemed factually innocent and entitled to compensation should be able to wipe their slates clean, and, after giving the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information a chance to object and explain why sealing these records should not be granted, extending this policy to aggravated battery, second degree battery, aggravated assault, aggravated criminal damage to property, simple robbery, purse snatching, or illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities could help thousands more turn their lives around. Importantly, this fresh start would only be allowed for those who have remained crime-free and employed for 10 years.