August 15, 2023
Kentucky state law currently allows individuals with non-violent, low-level convictions to have these convictions expunged from their records. Unfortunately, the process has proven complicated for many. Representatives Kimberly Poore Moser and R-Taylor Mill plan to propose clean slate legislation in the 2024 legislative session to address this challenge. If they succeed, Kentucky will join twelve other states with a Clean Slate Act.
Rep. Moser introduced the legislation earlier this year but did not reach the committee. The legislation aims to expunge convictions for non-violent crimes. It would also introduce an automated process for expungements. This process would eliminate the fees that burden many eligible individuals when requesting to seal their records.
However, it will occur five years after the individual was incarcerated or completed the non-monetary conditions of release. Furthermore, the individual must not receive another felony or misdemeanor during the five years waiting period.
How Clean Slate Works
According to the Clean Slate Act, the Kentucky State Police and the Administrative Office of the Courts would identify eligible convictions for expungement. After compiling a list, the Administrative Office of the Courts will inform the original jurisdiction courts of which convictions qualify for sealing. This task would start on August 15, 2025, and occur on the first of every month.
The representatives further explained the following:
“Within thirty (30) days of receipt of a notice of an expungeable conviction, the court shall order the judgment vacated, dismiss with prejudice any charges that are eligible for expungement under this section, and order expunged all records in the custody of the court and any records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records. The order expunging the records shall not require any action by the person. Upon entry of an order expunging a conviction pursuant to this section, the court shall notify the person of the expungement.”
The Benefits of the Legislation
According to Rep. Moser, the corrections system would help people undergoing rehabilitation. It would allow them to move forward and reintegrate into society more smoothly. Passing this Clean Slate Act would also improve the current labor pool, which has proven stagnant in the last few years.
Regardless of whether it succeeds, employers should still consider participating in second-chance hiring to overcome the labor shortage. Second-chance hiring allows previously incarcerated individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to society. It also addresses the struggle many employers face when searching for skilled workers. The best way to start a second-chance hiring program is to partner with a trustworthy background check company.