Selected Mentions of Paper Prisons in the News

Guest Column: Fix Oregon’s broken system for expunging criminal records (Mar. 14, 2023)

“There is a bill this legislative session that will provide that second chance to thousands of Oregonians. Senate Bill 698, or the “Clean Slate’’ act (sponsored by Sen. Manning), automatically expunges criminal records for people who are eligible. Current law states that individuals convicted of low-level offenses who have completed their sentence and then remained crime free for years can clear their criminal record by petitioning the court. “Clean Slate” does not expand what crimes are eligible for expungements. What it does is fix a broken system. The process for clearing a criminal record through a petition is complicated and cost prohibitive. As a result, less than 7% of eligible Oregonians have been able to clear their records, disproportionately impacting people of color.”

“The vast majority of people who serve time in prison will one day be released. They are our neighbors, just like those service members who faced discipline before returning to bunks next to us at the base. Their success matters to us all.”

“This is a uniting issue in fractured political times. From the legislation Rep. Collins championed with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries in Washington, D.C. to Sen. Manning’s efforts on Senate Bill 698 here in Oregon, consensus criminal justice reform is not just possible but necessary. “Clean Slate” is a bipartisan bill that creates a path to second chances. What is more American than that?”

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