The state of California will be sealing the criminal records of select former offenders if a certain criterion is met, according to a bill signed by Gov. Newsom on Monday.
In order for their criminal record to be sealed, the former offenders must complete their sentence and maintain a clean record for a minimum of four years.
Newsom made this decision in hopes that ex-offenders can move on from their past mistakes and cultivate a better life.
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"There is no government program that is going to do anything better than a system which we give people the tools to be successful and take charge of their own lives by not being a burden and stuck with their past," said Ambrioso Rodriguez a criminal defense attorney. "The very idea of America is that we have a second act."
The new law will take effect Jul. 1, 2023, it will exclude sex offenders and those convicted of more serious or violent crimes.
Law enforcement agencies and schools will be granted access to the sealed records, but employers and landlords will not.