Alabama Passes REDEEMER Act to Help Give Ex-Offenders a Second Chance

Second Chance

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed into law the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment and Eliminate Recidivism Act (REDEEMER Act) that “allows for people convicted of misdemeanor offenses and certain nonviolent felonies to have their records expunged,” reported WALA Fox10 News in Mobile, Alabama.

The REDEEMER Act will take effect in July 2021. “Beginning in July, when the law takes effect, people who qualify for the break will be able to petition the court for the expungement. Judges will make the determination based on factors like the nature of the offense and how long ago it occurred,” WALA Fox10 News reported.

“The expungement option is not open to everyone. Violent felons and people convicted of sex offenses will not be able to apply. But people with misdemeanors and certain nonviolent felonies can get the records sealed. It is also open to people who have committed some more serious offenses and later won a pardon,” WALA reported.

The REDEEMER Act will expand on an expungement law that took effect in Alabama in July 2014 that allowed residents who had been arrested of a crime – but not convicted – an opportunity to clear their arrest record and have the charge “deemed never to have occurred,” according to a report on the AL.com website.

On March 31, 2021, United States President Joseph Biden proclaimed April 2021 as Second Chance Month and called on all government officials, educators, volunteers, and people to observe the month “with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities,” according to a proclamation posted on the White House website.

“During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions… We must commit to second chances from the earliest stages of our criminal justice system,” President Biden stated in “A Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2021.”

Second chance programs and reentry laws that help allow ex-offenders with a prior criminal record to have an opportunity to find work will continue to evolve, according to leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which was named the #1 screening firm in 2020 by HRO Today – offers a white paper on “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce,” an “ESR Ban the Box Resource Guide,” and a Ban the Box Resource Page. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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