- Those who are affected by class D Felonies and their communities
- United States of America
Not allowing those with a class D felony to expunge the crime after 10 years of a clean record prohibits those individuals from making a better future. It prevents those with a conviction of a non-violent crime from contributing to society, providing for their family and not allowing them to aspire toward goals beneficial to them and their community.
Not allowing expungement means keeping individuals apart of the criminal system, passing down a way of life to their children, lowering the ability to achieve success, and lowering their morale causing more crime. This causes those to need community assistance due to lower wages. Those with a non-violent, class D felony are likely to have a lower paying job, in which they likely will need long term assistance, such as 4 C’s, passport, WIC, food stamps, etc, which is a burden to society. A person who is not able to move past a crime after having played by the rules and paying their debt by having good behavior has no incentive to continue to do so if they can never escape the punishment, a life long scarlet letter.
Some individuals with this conviction are given a post-secondary education while they are serving their probation or sentence, which is not useful if they can not be hired for gainful employment after they have paid for their penalty. This is a waste of tax dollars and degeneration of our communities. A person who has this conviction may choose to go to school after they have paid their penalty only to find they will never make enough to pay back student loans. Those with these non-violent convictions may never serve in the military, to which they can give back to our country should they so desire.
By not allowing those with these convictions to move forward, we are making our communities a worse place by forcing them and their families to continue to be apart of a system for which they can not be forgiven and pursue happiness. We are not reforming; we are condemning them to a life style. If a member of our community has had a clean record for a decade and beyond after their conviction, then we need to let them move forward.
The bill has been introduced to the senate several times and has not moved forward, in order to push this through our communities we need to show support. During economic crisis crime becomes worse and if we want to have safe and happy communities we need to offer opportunities.