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Both Sides of the Bars | Automatic Expungement: Why It's so Important for People with Conviction Histories

ProducerKhalil Cumberbatch
DescriptionOver 70 million Americans have criminal records which keeps many from accessing basic opportunities, like employment and housing. Due to the prevalence of background checks, many people with past convictions feel they can never move forward with their lives. With 400,000+ New Yorkers arrested on criminal charges each year, the exclusion of people with criminal records from employment opportunities via background checks and other barriers hurts productivity and deprives the workforce of crucial talent. The ACLU estimates that, nationally, excluding individuals with conviction histories from the workforce costs the economy between $78 billion and $87 billion in lost domestic product. Automatic expungement is fundamental to addressing the wrongs of over-policing, excessive prosecution, and racial injustice in our criminal legal system and to reducing the systemic barriers that disproportionately impact low-income individuals of color. In New York City, for example, 48% of those arrested for marijuana possession in 2017 were black, 38% were Latinx, and only 9% were white. In this episode, we talk about the importance of automatic expungement for people with histories of involvement in the criminal legal system. Our guest is Judith Whiting, general counsel for the Community Service Society, a Manhattan-based anti-poverty non-profit.
DateDecember 14, 2022
AiringThursday, March 14 - 8:30am on CMAC 1
Wednesday, March 20 - 8:30am on CMAC 1
Wednesday, April 17 - 8:30am on CMAC 1