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September 19, 2023

Reminder of Call for Papers for "Relief in the Making: The Policy, Implementation, and Impact of Record Sealing and Expungement Laws"

Especially because the dates for the symposium have shifted (but not the call for papers), I wanted to highlight anew the call for papers relating to an exciting event I am helping to plan, "Relief in the Making: The Policy, Implementation, and Impact of Record Sealing and Expungement Laws."  Here is the call, which is available in full at this link:

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law will host a symposium titled "Relief in the Making: The Policy, Implementation, and Impact of Record Sealing and Expungement Laws" on April 11-12, 2024 in Drinko Hall at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The symposium aims to examine and assess, from a variety of perspectives and with the help of a variety of voices, recent legal and policy developments regarding collateral consequences, record relief efforts, and broader concerns of justice and fairness for individuals and communities with criminal justice system involvement.


For years, advocates spoke about the “invisible punishment” flowing from the legal restrictions and societal stigmas that burden people with any criminal record long after involvement with the justice system.  But the many concerns surrounding so-called “collateral consequences” have become more visible in legal and policy circles in recent years.  Over the past decade, dozens of states have enacted laws seeking to reduce the barriers people with a criminal record face in the workplace, in housing, at the ballot box, and many other areas.

These developments have been characterized by the Collateral Consequences Resource Center as “a full-fledged law reform movement aimed at restoring rights and dignity to individuals who have successfully navigated the criminal law system.”  But the import and impact of this modern reform movement remains unclear, in part because record relief laws and practices differ widely across jurisdictions.  Some states have made only modest reforms to their record sealing laws, while other states have enacted ambitious automatic record relief systems.  And the practical impact of record relief reforms vary dramatically depending on not just the reach of the laws, but also the resources that are devoted to implementing these laws. Intriguingly, as record relief efforts have spread at the state level, federal record relief continues to languish.

Call for Papers

The symposium is soliciting papers from researchers to be included in the scholarship workshop.  Each paper will be assigned a discussant to provide feedback during the workshop.  The papers will be gathered and published in a symposium edition of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, a peer-reviewed publication, in the spring of 2025.

Proposed abstracts of no more than 300 words are due on November 1, 2023.  Abstracts can be submitted to Jana Hrdinova at hrdinova.1 @ osu.edu.  Accepted researchers will be notified by November 17, 2023.

Download the full call for papers here.

September 19, 2023 at 05:10 PM | Permalink


Here in Kentucky, there is a gap in the law that needs to be addressed by the legislature. Under Kentucky law, a Governor's pardon does not erase the crime, as though it never existed. Rather, the pardon merely erases the legal consequences of the conviction. Civil rights, including gun rights, are restored. But because the conviction remains in the NCIC computer, the pardoned defendant still cannot pass a Federal firearms background check, so he cannot buy a gun. And Kentucky courts have held that the pardon does not give the defendant the right to get the charges expunged. The legislatures need to ensure that there are expungement statutes, so that pardoned offenses can be expunged and made to completely disappear from the NCIC system and the Federal Firearms background check system.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Sep 19, 2023 6:04:58 PM

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