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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Legal Action Center Advocacy Toolkit: Prohibit Inquiries About Arrests That Never Led to Conviction

  • Organization: Legal Action Center
  • Date Created: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  • Submitted: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  • Attachment(s): LINK

The Unfair Roadblock: Despite the fact that the majority of Americans do not support access to records of arrests that never led to conviction for non-criminal justice purposes, the overwhelming majority of states allow employers to deny employment to applicants based solely on arrests that did not lead to conviction. In addition, many housing authorities and other non-criminal justice agencies also ask about and use arrests without convictions. Such practices flout the notion that one is innocent until proven guilty, which is the bedrock of our criminal justice system.

How To Remove The Roadblock: States should enact legislation that prohibits any inquiries about, consideration, or use of information about arrests that did not lead to conviction by employers, housing authorities and other non-law enforcement agencies.

This tool kit provides materials and information that advocates can use to encourage state legislatures to adopt those sensible reforms.

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