The past shouldn’t be
a life sentence for your future.

Joint Study Shows Unemployment Drives Recidivism

Joint Study Shows Unemployment Drives Recidivism

Criminal justice reform issues are often discussed concerning the needed impact on inner-city populations. However rural areas of the nation, often represented by conservative members of Congress, are also profoundly impacted by a system that prevents rehabilitated offenders from gaining jobs, education and housing.


Meet Paul Clayton


Meet Paul Clayton

As a young man, Paul made mistakes and paid for them. His story highlights the powerful potential for people to rebuild their lives and the need for legislation to give millions more the opportunity to do so.

“When people can’t get ahead, have no hope, and are not allowed to be seen or judged as anything other than a criminal, it should not be surprising that many return to a life of crime.”

The Issue

The Issue

Thousands of ex-offenders are released every month across the United States. They are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who have made mistakes, paid their debts to society and are ready to begin anew. Yet most find themselves locked out of opportunity to find employment, get housing or gain an education due to background checks.

The current system for federal offenders turns a prior offense into a life sentence and prohibits them from gaining a foothold in society. Surveys have shown that only 12.5% of employers are willing to hire an ex-offender and the results bear that out—51% of ex-offenders are unable to find work within a year of their release.  Unable to move on and build a new life, many lose hope and turn to substance abuse and eventually a return to crime and jail.

1 in 3

Americans have a criminal record

Any criminal record—even an arrest that never led to conviction —can be a lifelong barrier to opportunity.


9 in 10

Employers use background checks

Applicants with a record are nearly half as likely to get a callback or a job offer.


$87 Billion

In lost GDP every year

Shutting people with records out of the labor market takes a huge toll on the U.S. economy.

The Solution

The Solution

The Clean Slate Act is an opportunity to give Americans a second chance at fully participating in society.

• Automatically seals an individual’s federal criminal record for simple drug possession one year after successfully completing his or her sentence.

• Automatically seals arrest records and other related records for individuals who have been acquitted, exonerated or never had charges filed against them.

• Establishes new procedures to allow individuals to petition to seal records for nonviolent offenses that are not automatically sealed.

• Permits law enforcement to access sealed records for public safety reasons, such as investigatory purposes and background checks for firearms.

•Protects employers from liability for any claim arising out of the misconduct of an employee if the misconduct relates to a sealed criminal record.

Mask Group 2

Bipartisan Support

Bipartisan Support