LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Right now, there is a path for some people to clear their criminal record in Michigan. Legislation in the state Senate seeks to offer more people the chance at a “clean slate.”
Brianna Fox is one of thousands in Michigan waiting for the chance to clear their names and provide for their families. She has a misdemeanor charge from 2017 and has to wait two more years before she can start the expungement process.
Until then, she’s facing roadblocks.
“I can get a job and then they’ll tell me, “Oh, we’ll just wait for your background,”” Fox says. “And then the background comes back, they have to call me and say, “Oh we’re sorry,” when they already, based on me, told me I could get the job. But based on something on paper, I’m still judged based on that.”
The Clean Slate legislation would create an easier way to a clear record. And instead of having to figure out how to apply for expungement, the process would start automatically for anyone who’s eligible.
If the Clean Slate legislation is passed, it would increase the number of charges that someone can have on their criminal record from one felony to two, and from two misdemeanors to four. It would still be a lengthy process to get those records expunged, but supporters say it would be a huge step in the right direction.
Clean Slate supporter and victim advocate Priscilla Bordayo says this would clear the way for thousands to find stable jobs and housing and more chances to contribute to society.
“We want these individuals to be the best that they can be and achieve all the things that they want to achieve,” Bordayo says. “And what stops them a lot of the time is the record that they have.”