Clean Slate Act

Clean Slate Act

The New York State Assembly believes that we must empower people to contribute positively to our society. When an individual convicted of a crime has served their time, paid their debt to society, and committed to turning their life around, their past should not impede their future or prevent them from full participation in society.

If someone completes their sentence and wants to build a stable, successful life for themselves and their family how can they do that if they cannot get employment or housing?

In some cases, they can’t, and it diminishes their chances of sustained and successful rehabilitation.

Excluding them from the job pool also weakens our workforce and impacts our economy. To date, it has cost the United States up to $87 billion in gross domestic product.

That’s why we passed the Clean Slate Act. This measure will help people to re-engage with society, without roadblocks that prevent them from accessing a healthy support system. This Act is for New Yorkers who are ready to rebuild their lives and contribute to safer communities.

The Clean Slate Act will help break barriers, and change lives.

Here are some examples of people this law will help:

  • A domestic violence survivor (Mariann) who was convicted of petit larceny for using her husband’s credit card while trying to flee an abusive relationship. She completed probation for a misdemeanor but has been consistently denied employment due to her record.
  • A young woman who was a domestic violence survivor (Serena) lost her home and struggled with addiction. She spent a year and a half in prison and was excited to rebuild her life upon release. More than 70 employers rejected her because of her record as a teenager and she was denied admission to college based solely on her conviction history.
  • A mother (Joessie) who had a successful career in the banking industry and was planning to be the first in her family to go to college. She spent 36 hours in a holding cell and had her life forever changed. Because of her record, she can’t return to work or get the licenses she needs to continue in her career. Because of her inability to find gainful employment, she’s unable to pay for college to get her degree.
Clean Slate Act