NJ Governor Chris Christie Backs Legislation to Reform Criminal Records Disclosure Requirements on Job Applications
New Jersey governor Chris Christie recently announced a bipartisan package of bills that aim to make it easier for people with criminal records to put the past behind them and find jobs, according to a recent article at NJ.com.
The package includes three bills. Together, the legislation would:
- Make some criminal record expungements quicker and easier to obtain,
- Increase the number of convictions eligible for expungement,
- Reduce the waiting period for people seeking to expunge a juvenile record, and
- Prohibit employment discrimination against people with expunged criminal records.
The primary sponsor of the bills is state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson), who has worked with the governor’s office in the past on “ban the box” legislation that requires employers to postpone the “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” question until after they have interviewed an applicant.
The goals of the new legislation are to help people who have made and atoned for a past mistake to put that mistake in the past and continue to contribute meaningfully to society, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
New Jersey is one of several states that are taking steps to ease the process of expunging or sealing past criminal records. Other states’ attempts include increasing the number and type of convictions that can be expunged, or creating computer systems to seal certain cases automatically after a number of years have passed.
While legislation making it easier to have a criminal record expunged can help those who have been convicted of past crimes, the best opportunity for a promising future comes from fighting the possibility of a conviction before it happens. If you’re facing a criminal charge in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who can help you protect your legal rights and fight the charges against you.