SB 562 – Senate Amends House Amendment and Passed Bill RCS# 469
Criminal Justice Reform
Expands upon 2019’s Second Chance for Employment Act (SB 152), which gives the chance for a clean slate to more West Virginians who have turned their lives around since serving their sentences. By providing nonviolent offenders the opportunity to expunge their records, expungement opens up additional opportunities for these individuals. AFP West Virginia believes that Americans with criminal records are capable of redemption. Expungement gives former offenders who have paid their debt to society and remained crime-free a better shot at productively contributing to their communities after release. In West Virginia, expungement still excludes dangerous offenses and keeps law enforcement and any victims notified of petitions filed under this bill, allowing them to oppose these petitions if they wish. Improving access to jobs and housing for former offenders through expungement eligibility can help reduce recidivism and make our communities safer.