In March of 2017, while speaking at an event in an effort to encourage New Jersey businesses to help ex-offenders find jobs after their release from incarceration, Governor Chris Christie announced that he planned on signing expungement reform bills into law before leaving office. Specifically, he indicated that he wanted to provide those individuals who had been incarcerated with better opportunities for finding jobs. Christie noted that such expungement reform is needed to provide former inmates with long-term employment so that they have a chance at becoming rehabilitated and so that they can end the cycle of recidivism.
Between March of 2017 when he made this announcement and now, it appears as though Christie has been busy working with lawmakers on various bills that will expand expungement opportunity in New Jersey and that will prevent employers from being able to discriminate against those individuals who do have criminal records.
On June 13, 2017, Christie introduced bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for these individuals to expunge their criminal records and that would prevent employers from discriminating against those with expunged records.
The three bills introduced by Christie are as follows:
S3306 would strengthen Christie’s former “ban the box” law by prohibiting employers from discriminating against people with expunged criminal records. New Jersey’s “ban the box” law, which Christie signed into law in 2014, requires businesses to wait until after they have interviewed a job applicant before inquiring into their criminal record. The term “ban the box” thus refers to the area on a job application that asks the applicant whether or not they have a criminal history. Thus, the proposed legislation is intended to strengthen that law by preventing employers from being able to deny individuals job opportunities on the basis of criminal records that have since been expunged.
Bill S3308 proposes a reduction in the waiting period to expunge a juvenile record from 5 years to 3 years.
Bill S3307 would make several changes to the laws in New Jersey dealing with the expungement of adult records. These proposed changes would revise the procedures for expunging adult criminal records and would shorten the waiting periods for expungement eligibility. The bill would also increase the number of convictions that can be expunged.
Christie has been commended for working to create this legislation, which many hope will allow those who were incarcerated due to drug offenses to recover from their addictions and become productive members of society.
New Jersey Expungement Lawyers
The New Jersey expungement lawyers at Katherine O’Brien Law will continue to track the progress of these bills. If you or a loved one is interested in expunging your criminal record, contact the affordable expungement lawyers at Katherine O’Brien Law today for a free consultation.