New Law: Millions of Criminal Records In Colorado Will Now Be Sealed
The state appears divided after the passing of a new law in Colorado that will seal non-violent criminal records.
According to a press release from the office of Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a newly signed bipartisan bill, SB22-099, became law, sealing non-violent criminal records, and setting millions free from their past.
Sealing Your Record In Colorado Was A Pain
Those with non-violent criminal records were previously eligible to seal their records by 3 different methods, but it would've cost major time and money.
"Currently, only 5% of eligible Coloradans successfully get their records sealed. The stigma of a record needlessly creates ongoing obstacles to long-term employment, education, safe and affordable housing, and family health and well-being.
Removing barriers to employment and housing equips everyone with the opportunity to provide for their families. The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado is pleased to have led the Clean Slate Coalition's efforts to ensure all Coloradans with eligible records can remove those barriers and become more productive citizens. We're deeply grateful to Governor Polis for signing this important legislation,” said Shara Smith, Executive Director, The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado.
A report from the state estimates that "there are about 1.5 million cases since 2000 that could be subject to automatic sealing under the bill."
Coloradans Now Have A Clean Slate
The bill recently turned law states:
The bill requires a consumer reporting agency to exclude sealed and expunged records from a consumer report, unless the user of the report demonstrates that the user is otherwise required to consider the information pursuant to law.
Previously even a non-violent criminal record in Colorado could bar you from educational opportunities, housing, jobs, and more.
Coloradans no longer have to fear that their non-violent past will come back to haunt them and affect their lives today.
However, some Coloradans are angered by the new law and believe that sealing non-violent criminal records is dangerous and irresponsible.