Expunging or sealing records Article


Governor Ducey's Second Chance Box

On November 6, 2017, Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive order 2017-07.  With this executive order, Arizona joins more than 2 dozen other states by changing state employment procedures to give former felons a fair shot at employment.  Before the recent order, job applications used by state agencies contained a question about the applicant’s criminal history.    Now, that practice will be banned.  The idea behind the Order is to give those who have paid their debt to society a second chance.  The criminal conviction issue may come up later during the job application process, but at least former felons will have their chance to get their foot in the door.  Applications for state jobs will no longer have the dreaded box that must be checked “yes” if the applicant has a criminal history.

    The Executive Order lists some hard facts about how a criminal conviction affects the life of the former felon and his family.
•    A criminal record on an application reduces the chances of being called back for a job interview by almost 50%.
•    Men with criminal records comprise 34% of healthy men aged 25-54, who are unemployed.
•    Two years after release, former felons with jobs are twice as likely as their unemployed counterparts to avoid trouble with the law.
•    Gainful employment is well known to be one of the best ways to decrease recidivism.
•    An estimated 1.5 million Arizonans have an arrest or criminal conviction on their record and that arrest record impedes the ability to find a decent job.

The State of Arizona is one of the largest employers in the state.  That makes this new state policy an important step in helping former felons enter the job market.  While the criminal conviction issue will very likely come up during the job interview or during the post interview vetting process, proponents hope, at that juncture, it will have far less impact.  By then, the interviewer will have met the individual, assessed his qualifications for the job, and be in a better position to determine if the conviction is even relevant to the job in question.

State agencies will look at more than the bald fact of a criminal record.  The agencies will consider the nature, circumstances and the recentness of the crime.  Was the crime eight or nine years in the past; was it the act of a youth with drug or alcohol issues that have since been resolved; was it a one-time thing arising from stressful circumstances?  The agency will consider if the crime is likely to affect future job performance.  For example:  a prior conviction for embezzlement would be a negative if the job involves handling state funds.  But many former felons with DUI convictions, drug offenses, shop lifting and even burglary convictions may have grown older and wiser.  They may be hoping to start anew to live a normal, productive life.  They deserve the chance to do that.

This executive order will have no impact on private industry.  Employers in the private sector will remain free to create their own employment policies on criminal history, but the Governor hopes that the state’s example will influence others.  Nor will the Order affect employment procedures for law enforcement agencies and the Department of Corrections.  Several Arizona cities, including Tucson, Tempe, and Phoenix, have already implemented similar policies and are hopeful these new policies will help people move forward toward a positive future.


Resources

www.azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/related-docs/boxeo.pdf

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I was arrested on a charge of felony trespassing, but the charge was dismissed. Can I have the records 'set aside'.
  • I had a conviction of meadsteaminor shoplifting in 2003 and had it set aside in 2004. still i am having problem finding a job. my question is can i have my conviction seal for good behavior.
  • can i get my covictions set aside in arizona if i now live in WI and do i have to be in AZ to apear in court for them to be set aside
  • When the Court Sets Aside a misdemeanor conviction and orders a person released from all penalties and disabilities, does this mean that all civil rights (voting, gun rights, etc.) are restored? And if so are there any other documents that have to be submitted to complete this action?
  • What do I do if I want to just remove (expunge) a misdemeanor off my record? Who do I call? How much is it? Is there such a thing to do?
  • A Felony 6 Non-designated was designated as a Misdemeanor 1. I was told by the court that my rights were altered during the time period it was an Undesignated felony 6 (voting and gun rights). The charge in the case has now been "Vacated and Dismissed". Have all of my rights been restored or do I need to process and other documentation?
  • I was ticketed for criminal speeding when I was 17. Went to court and was told to do driving school to get rid of the charge. The charge hasn't been removed. The court clerk says that I was given the option for traffic school but doesn't know how to remove it. How would I remove it from my record? I feel it should be removed from the option of going to traffic school.
  • I was convicted of Theft, A class 6 undesignated offense back in the mid 90's. I completed 3 years on probation. My probation officer put in a order of discharge from probation in the late 90's . He signed it and the Judge signed it. It was never checked on if it was a misdemeanor or a felony. I never recieved and paperwork that stated anything about it, just that I was released from probation. So what do I need to do to get this removed? If the paperwork was not completed correctly my the courts can I get it off my record? Thanks
  • Can you apply for a job as a CO in a prison/jail if you have gotten a set asside?
  • I was convicted of felony theft on July 3 2000, in Yavapai county .At sentencing, the judge said to me. "After you complete probation, come back and see me, and we will take this off your record". I called the court after completing probation. To do what was told to me by the judge. The court of Yavapai told me, " I have no idea as to what it is that we can do for you". Your convicted, is a conviction of law, there's nothing to do for you. Last year I mailed a request to have a say in this matter. I was given a court date. I could not make this date 4/28 . I received a letter saying to bad.

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