Apr 7, 2018

Action Alert – April 7, 2018

Don’t Play with Expungement

Last night, the provisions of Senate Bill 122 was copied and pasted into two new bills, a consensus bill, and a bill with the sentencing provisions, which is Senate Bill 101. These two bills drastically pivot from their original intent and still include prior felony language that will disproportionately effect poor communities of color.

To make these bills more palatable, legislators have included a watered down version of expungement that is NOT the REDEEM Act, which are SB 1212/ HB 1383. SB 1212 was heard on March 14 and HB 1383 was heard on March 13. The REDEEM Act was not voted on by either committee, however, it has now reappeared in this transformed version without the approval of the expungement advocates or experts.

This version of expungement will ONLY allow for the expungement of these convictions after a waiting period of 15 YEARS after completing the sentence:

  • Possession with the Intent to Distribute (PWID)
  • Burglary
  • Felony Theft

This is unacceptable and not the expungement that Marylanders need. Call your legislators and URGE them to continue to REJECT any expungement language this session that waters down this important benefit. If our legislators want to pass expungement, then it should be the expungement that Marylanders asked for, the REDEEM Act. Click here to input your address to locate your representatives.  Example

Email/Phone Script:

Dear Delegate _____. My name is ______ and I am calling/emailing to urge your opposition of , that increases mandatory minimums, maximum sentences, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. These new bills, especially SB 101 will simply increase our reliance on incarceration, which does not deter crime and predominantly impacts communities of color from accessing stable, reliable employment. The expungement in SB 101 does nothing to truly increase the employability of the communities who need it most. I urge you to oppose SB 101 and work towards better pathways for community safety that don’t rely on the heavy and ineffective use of mass incarceration.

For more information on SB 101, please contact Nikki Thompson, Senior Policy Advocate at nikki@jotf.org or 410-725-8434

Related Policy Updates