Yesterday, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Clean Slate Act into law. This legislative victory will reduce barriers to jobs, housing, and education for New Yorkers with conviction histories by automatically sealing certain criminal records if the “individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act.” Given the systemic racism in our criminal legal system, this advancement will have tremendous impact on Black and brown communities, who are disproportionately affected by incarceration and the life-altering stigma associated with it. With Clean Slate now law, more than 2 million New Yorkers will have a new start at rebuilding their lives.
Archana Jayaram, Osborne’s President, and CEO, shared this statement in response to the signing:
“I would like to thank Governor Hochul, State Senator Zellnor Myrie, and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz for delivering the Clean Slate Act. This landmark legislation is a step in the right direction for our state as we continue to grapple with the devastating impacts of mass incarceration. More importantly, though, this marks a new beginning for the millions of New Yorkers who have returned from incarceration and are seeking to rebuild their lives. Today is a pivotal moment in New York’s journey towards a more equitable and just criminal legal system.”