February 17, 2023 Less than a minute read

Missouri lawmakers consider expungement bill to help reduce recidivism

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is supporting lawmakers’ efforts to reduce recidivism and make it easier to have a criminal record expunged.

On Feb. 13, 2023, the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard testimony on SB 36, sponsored by Sen. Brian Williams (D-University City).

“The purpose of this bill is solely to provide a second chance for people who might have made a mistake at some point in their life,” said Williams. “Mistakes shouldn’t ruin our lives forever. This is essentially a bill that would make an effort to ensure that people have a second chance at life and give them an opportunity to be productive members of our communities.”

SB 36 includes several provisions, including:

  • Removing the cap on the number of records that can be expunged,
  • Shortening the time in which a person can petition to expunge their arrest record from three years after arrest to 18 months,
  • Removing the $250 filing fee.

Violent and sexual offenses would not be eligible for expungement.

In 2022, the Missouri Chamber released a public safety report, Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri, which includes recommendations to address crime in our state, including reducing recidivism among those on probation and parole. As a result, the Missouri Chamber supports this effort to reform the expungement process and reduce recidivism by making it easier for justice-involved individuals to find stable housing and employment.

Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, testified at the hearing.

“Our hope is that if these provisions were passed, we would have a really good increase in people who are able to get back into the workforce, as well as a decrease in recidivism because they’re able to get jobs,” Sutherland said.

For more information, contact Sutherland at hsutherland@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


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