Kentucky Smart on Crime Applauds Passage of Expungement Bill from Senate Judiciary
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 17, 2016) – Kentucky Smart on Crime on Thursday applauded the passage from the Senate Judiciary Committee a measure designed to ease barriers to reentry for former criminal offenders.
Former University of Kentucky basketball star Cameron Mills, who is the founder of Cameron Mills Ministries, testified in support of the measure.
“Through my ministry, I’ve visited several prisons and I’ve been blessed to see God’s work in the lives of many of the inmates,” Mills said. “But even though God has forgiven them and wiped their sins clean, society continues to treat them as criminals.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 40, which would allow individuals to apply to have certain felony offenses expunged from their records after completing their sentences. The measure excludes certain offenses and prevents individuals from seeking expungement more than once. It gives victims an opportunity to be notified and grants judges discretion on granting the expungement.
The majority of both Republicans and Democrats in Kentucky support easing barriers to reentry, according to a poll of Kentucky voters conducted by the Tarrance Group in January.
“We thank the Senate for its leadership on an issue that so clearly resonates with so many Kentuckians,” Kentucky Smart on Crime spokesman Russell Coleman said. “Expungement legislation has broad, bipartisan support because we know that it saves tax dollars, helps our economy and ultimately keeps our communities safer.”
Coleman has an extensive background in law enforcement and prosecution, serving under two Attorneys General and working as an FBI special agent. He was temporarily assigned to the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and volunteered for a 2007 assignment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Kentucky Smart on Crime coalition consists of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, ACLU of Kentucky, Catholic Conference of Kentucky, Kentucky Council of Churches, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
“We strongly support efforts on the felony expungement issue because Kentucky employers need access to the tens of thousands of former offenders who have turned their lives around,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson said.