Senator Josh McKoon Announces Expungement Reform Study Committee Findings

January 6, 2014 14:05 pm

by Nathan · 9 comments

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State Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) chaired a senate study committee to recommend reforms to the state’s expungement process and analyze the restriction of criminal records. Today at a press conference, he announced the findings of that committee:

It was determined by the committee that clearing an individual’s name after a wrongful conviction or restricting access to expunged criminal records can be expensive, time-consuming and tedious. In addition, the committee found that inaccuracies or omissions in criminal history records are common and may hinder an individual’s chances of obtaining gainful employment or housing.

Based on these findings, the committee presented the following recommendations to Governor Nathan Deal for consideration:

  • The State of Georgia should study the cost of upgrading all information technology systems that process, store, disseminate and restrict criminal records in Georgia.
  • Georgia should make it a priority to identity certain criminal offenses for which records will be restricted by law after a period of good behavior following the offense.
  • With limited exceptions, Georgia should consider restrictions on the use of certain questions relating to an applicant’s criminal history for housing/employment purposes.
  • With limited exceptions, the state should adopt uniform standards for all state agencies and departments regarding an applicant’s criminal history and disqualification of state employment.
  • The State of Georgia should amend the Georgia open Records Act to exclude information gathered in a suspect’s initial booking following an arrest.
  • Georgia should create a private cause of action in favor of individuals whose criminal information is obtained by third-party background check providers and inaccurately or unlawfully reported to potential employers or landlords.

Governor Nathan Deal will now work with committee members and interested stakeholders to evaluate the committee’s findings and determine whether future reform efforts are necessary.

You can read the full report sent to the Governor Nathan Deal here (PDF).

peachpundit (@peachpundit) January 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm

New post: Senator Josh McKoon Announces Expungement Reform Study Committee Findings http://t.co/xDrdeXIks8 #gapol

Chris Huttman January 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

They might be able to pay for it by just skipping funding ill-conceived and poorly prosecuted public corruption cases.

@MetroCOLA January 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Sounds like needed change: @JoshMcKoon Announces Expungement Reform Study Committee Findings http://t.co/ubzByLThQL

Rick Day January 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

One of my resident DJs was arrested for a FTA in a misdemeanor court case he had plead, served community service and was expunged 2 years ago. It cost him several thousand dollars to get cleared up and he is charging the state for the legal fees and some ‘consideration’ for his time wasted.

Want fiscal leanness? How about we just join the 21st century and do away with most of the draconian statutes that require such committees to, decades later, point out the obvious? That would be great!

@Catherine4GA January 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Good findings from Sen @JoshMcKoon on problems with Georgia’s expungement laws http://t.co/ylHAFlHnVN #justice #gapol

saltycracker January 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Will this exclude any job applicant or election filing, from public employment for having any outstanding public debt/taxes ? Or suspend any current employee/office holder for same ?

gcp January 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm

My problem is with the third point which restricts which questions a private employer can ask. If an applicant doesn’t want to answer a question, well that’s fine, but the employer should have the right to ask a question and also have the right not to hire an applicant that won’t answer.

Harry January 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm

That one worries me too.

Noway January 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Explain to me again why we should give a rat’s backside whether or not some loser gets to expunge the fact that he broke the law in the first place and now wants to hide that fact from people who need to know about his character? No “expunges” for anyone.

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