« Rounding up some rough headlines for the progressive prosecutor movement | Main | Taking a look at compassionate release record of one SCOTUS short-lister »

February 23, 2022

"Waiting for Relief: A National Survey of Waiting Periods for Record Clearing"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new report by Margaret Love and David Schlussel of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center.  Here is this report's starting portion of its introduction:

Background: This report is the first-ever comprehensive national survey of the period of time a person, who is otherwise eligible to expunge or seal a misdemeanor or felony conviction record, must wait before obtaining this relief. Waiting periods are usually established by statute and can range from 0 to 20 years, a period that typically (though by no means invariably) commences after completion of the court-imposed sentence.  Also typically, during a waiting period the person must be free from certain forms of involvement with the justice system: from a felony conviction, from any conviction, or from any arrest, again depending on state law.  These and other conditions and circumstances may extend (or occasionally shorten) the length of a waiting period in specific cases. 

Contents of the Report: Following this introduction, the report consists of two 50-state Tables, one showing the waiting periods applicable to clearing of misdemeanors, and the other showing the waiting periods applicable to clearing of felonies, with states that have no general record clearing listed at the bottom of each table.  The Tables are followed by maps showing the geographical distribution of waiting periods for each type of conviction.  The maps are followed by an appendix describing in greater detail the laws governing waiting periods in each of the jurisdictions studied.

February 23, 2022 at 05:15 PM | Permalink


In the above study, "clearing" is not the right word, since in many cases the record is merely hidden from employers and others, but still exists and still restricts their rights.

I would want to know how long after being released from prison it takes for recidivism rates drop to no higher than the conviction rate of people the same age without prior criminal records. And how does that number vary with such factors as the alleged crime, the suspect's age during said crime, their gender, and whether they claim to be guilty or innocent. Has anyone done such a study? Thanks.

Posted by: Keith Lynch | Feb 24, 2022 10:41:02 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB