Law to clear some criminal records begins in New Jersey

A new law taking effect Monday gives thousands of New Jersey residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records. (ShutterStock)

A new law taking effect Monday gives thousands of New Jersey residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records. (ShutterStock)

A new law taking effect Monday gives thousands of New Jersey residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records.

Akil Roper with Legal Services of New Jersey said most offenders who’ve completed a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program can now have their entire record of arrests or convictions expunged.

That’s a big deal because people are often denied employment because of a criminal record, he said.

“Expungement is a way to deal with that by getting folks around that barrier, both occupational licensing and it can essentially remove those convictions or arrests from a record when it’s looked at by an employer,” Roper said. “So it’s a tremendous help for folks.”

Being able to put that criminal record behind them can also improve access to housing and be a life-changing experience that gives thousands of residents a real second chance,” he said.

“There’s been a long push for folks who have drug problems, then suffer from addiction, to have them not be simply incarcerated but to get them into modes into rehabilitation and treatment,”Roper said. “And I think this is one step in that effort.”

A new law taking effect today gives thousands of New Jersey residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records.

 

Akil Roper with Legal Services of New Jersey says most offenders who’ve completed a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program can now have their entire record of arrests or convictions expunged.

 

He says that’s a big deal because people are often denied employment because of a criminal record. 

 

“Expungement is a way to deal with that by getting folks around that barrier, both occupational licensing and it can essentially remove those convictions or arrests from a record when it’s looked at by an employer. So it’s a tremendous help for folks.”

 

Roper says being able to put that criminal record behind them can also improve access to housing and be a life-changing experience that gives thousands of residents a real second chance.

 

“There’s been a long push for folks who have drug problems, then suffer from addiction, to have them not be simply incarcerated but to get them into modes into rehabilitation and treatment and I think this is one step in that effort.”

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