JOTF Highlights the need for increased expungement access for citizens throughout Maryland

As protests of the criminal justice system raged on last summer following the deaths of unarmed African Americans at the hands of the state, a deeper systemic issue needs to be addressed: economic access post-interaction from the criminal justice system. The Brennan Center reported that individuals incarcerated earlier in life earn about half as much annually as individuals from the same socioeconomic background who remained untouched by the system.
In Maryland, the primary cause for this disparity revolves around access to dignified, sustainable employment post-incarceration which is severely limited for returning citizens. Thus, criminal record expungement is vital for the 1.5 million Marylanders who live with the daily burden of a record. Yet, the State doesn’t allow petitions for expungement of either felonies or misdemeanors until at least a decade after release. Worse, even if an individual was found not guilty of a crime, they must wait three years before they can have the incident expunged.
JOTF has been on the front line for years advocating for increased expungement access for citizens throughout the state to ensure that all Marylanders can rise to the well-deserved status of economic self-sufficiency.
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