Gov. Kemp signs ‘second chance’ expungement bill into law for ex-offenders

Gov. Kemp signs ‘second chance’ expungement bill into law for ex-offenders

Gov. Kemp signs ‘second chance’ expungement bill into law for ex-offenders

 

 

By David Bass

 

For many Georgians, past criminal conviction can be the most significant hurdle to overcome in getting a job. On this front, there is good news: Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed a bill (SB288) into law that allows formerly incarcerated individuals to petition the court to have certain misdemeanor convictions erased from their record four years after the completion of their sentence. 

 

The new law excludes certain offenses, including sexual offenses and DUIs. In a crucial move, the law also creates incentives for employers to make “second chance” hires.

 

This new law allows for an easier transition back into the workforce for a segment of Georgia’s population that has paid its debt to society and stayed on the straight and narrow.

 

“This new law is monumental because it takes Georgia off the list of only a handful of states where a criminal offense stays on an ex-offender’s record perpetually,” said Buzz Brockway, vice president of policy at Georgia Center for Opportunity. “We know that unemployment is a key way to help ex-offenders not repeat their crimes. Particularly in the COVID-19 era, breaking down any barriers to employment that we can is always a huge win. We applaud Gov. Kemp and the Georgia Legislature for making this law a reality.”

 

Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

 Nonprofit organizations in Georgia are facing higher demands for services but decreases in revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey found.

According to a June survey by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN), 90 percent of nonprofit organizations that responded have seen a drop in revenue since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak…

Corey Burres, a spokesman for the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), an organization aimed at increasing opportunities for Georgians, said many of its partner nonprofits had been in discussions about layoffs and reconstruction.

“The demand for services is going through the roof, while financial support is not keeping pace,” he said. “While most organizations have been able to continue to give to the needs around them, we had one organization share that they have yet to not meet the needs.”

“Older volunteers have been unable or (understandably) unwilling to help out with the risks involved in going out in public,” Burres said.

 

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Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

Leaders React to Passing of Georgia Congressman John Lewis | All On Georgia

Leaders React to Passing of Georgia Congressman John Lewis | All On Georgia

Civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis passed away Friday at the age of 80. He was the last of the Big Six civil rights activists led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and so congressional congressional colleagues, civil rights leaders, and individuals alike have all been quick to remember his legacy…

Former GA State Representative Buzz Brockway:

“I am sad that John Lewis passed away. He had courage to stand for what he believed in, even when is put his life in jeopardy. It’s easy to say we have that kind of courage, but he proved it. I’m glad I got the chance to shake his hand. Prayers for his family and friends.”

 

 

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Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

City of Savannah creates new task force to help formerly incarcerated community members | WJCL

City of Savannah creates new task force to help formerly incarcerated community members | WJCL

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson’s newest task force is focusing on welcoming those who have previously been in prison back into the Savannah community and helping them become productive members of society.

It’s called Advocates for Restorative Communities in Savannah , better known as ARCS.

This re-entry task force is something that’s been in the works for quite a while now and it’s finally coming to life in Savannah. The goal of it all is to give those who have previously been in prison a second chance.

“In 2018 it was reported that over a half a million people in Georgia are behind bars in any of our institutions, state, local, our juvenile institutions or under criminal justice supervision. That’s about a fifth of Georgia’s population,” Georgia Southern Criminal Justice professor, Dr. Maxine Bryant said.

According to the Georgia Center for Opportunity, the recidivism rate is about 50% in the state of Georgia, when you take into account the number of people who commit a technical violation while on probation and parole along with those who recidivate after the standard three year time period.

 

 

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Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

Criminal record expungement bill clears Georgia House | The Center Square

Criminal record expungement bill clears Georgia House | The Center Square

A bill that would increase the number of criminal records that can be sealed was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Georgia House.

Senate Bill 288 would allow certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to qualify for expungement.

The legislation is “an important step toward criminal justice reform” in the state, said Rep. Houston Gaines, R-Athens, who presented the bill Wednesday on the House floor. “It’s a bill we can all agree on that will help millions of Georgians.”

More than 4 million residents have a criminal record, according to the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO). If the bill becomes law, Georgia will join 41 other states that have eased record sealing restrictions.

Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy, said in a statement the change in the expungement law is more crucial than ever as the state faces the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For many Georgians, the economic shock caused by coronavirus has meant job loss and financial hardship,” he said. “But think of the … Georgians with a criminal record who are in the same situation. For them, the path forward is seemingly insurmountable.”

 

 

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Nonprofits face funding shortages, increase demands amid COVID-19 | The Center Square

Criminal record expungement bill clears Georgia House | Marietta Daily Journal

Criminal record expungement bill clears Georgia House | Marietta Daily Journal

A bill that would increase the number of criminal records that can be sealed was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Georgia House.

Senate Bill 288 would allow certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to qualify for expungement.

The legislation is “an important step toward criminal justice reform” in the state, said Rep. Houston Gaines, R-Athens, who presented the bill Wednesday on the House floor. “It’s a bill we can all agree on that will help millions of Georgians.”

More than 4 million residents have a criminal record, according to the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO). If the bill becomes law, Georgia will join 41 other states that have eased record sealing restrictions.

Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy, said in a statement the change in the expungement law is more crucial than ever as the state faces the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For many Georgians, the economic shock caused by coronavirus has meant job loss and financial hardship,” he said. “But think of the … Georgians with a criminal record who are in the same situation. For them, the path forward is seemingly insurmountable.”

Read the full article here