Statement on SB 298

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester has filed Senate Bill 298, which would ease barriers for individuals seeking to re-enter society after serving time and/or paying fines for certain criminal offenses.

Kentucky Smart on Crime applauds the Senate’s leadership on this issue and looks forward to continuing to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that enhances public safety, saves taxpayer dollars, strengthens Kentucky’s workforce and helps former offenders successfully re-enter society.

Kentucky Smart on Crime is dedicated to finding common ground on modernizing our criminal justice system. These proposals provide us with a chance to make reentry more successful for thousands of Kentuckians.

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.


One thought on “Statement on SB 298

  1. Another issue with that 10 year waiting period that Stivers wanted, before a Class D felon can apply to get their record expunged is this: Currently the probation period for many if not all Class D felonies is, 5 years. Then, you would have to wait another 5 years to apply for expungement, so a total of “10” years. If they make the wait period 10 years, it would really be (“15”) years before one could try to get their records expunged! 5 year’s probation, 10 year wait with good behavior. The probation period does not count toward the 10 year wait period. So, class D felons are supposed to go 15 years without a job, and then “MAYBE” get their records expunged after paying A $500.00 fee that they don’t have because, they have had no job. That $500.00 fee also applies to the 5 years probation and the 5 year wait period version as well. A $500.00 fee for a “MAYBE” is ridiculous! That’s idiotic thinking by our law makers.
    By the time the felon got to the 15 year point, many wouldn’t t need a job, they will be eligible for SSI. Oh, but wait, they were not able to pay into the system because they could get no job. Not only that, how is the felon supposed to support themselves for the15 years. That recidivism rate is still going to be “very” high. A person has to survive someway. What incentive would a felon have to, complete the 15 year wait period? A “Maybe” after 15 years, you can get your record cleared? After you are old, can’t work, and won’t need it anymore? Class D felons would still have to live off the system for 15+ years. Even with the 5 year wait period it will still be a minimum of 10+ years living off the system. Employers would still be without employees because, the bar would be so high to get the record expunged that, many felons would re-offend before the 15 year period was completed. Many rural industries and companies, would eventually leave the areas where they are because, they have shot through the worker population pool, and terminated many people who are then ineligible for rehire. The others will be phased out or quit over time thus, eliminating a large majority of the hiring pool. So much so that, many of those companies can’t get get enough employees to operate effectively and profitably. So, the only ones who would be able to fill those positions, if their records were clear would be, the “thousands” of unemployed felons who could be working for them. This forces may large companies, corporations, and .coms to move to high population cities where, there is a more diverse, eligible, qualified work force. This kills hundreds if not thousands of jobs in the rural areas. You have to remember, there are over 100,000 class D felons in Kentucky who, are ineligible and discriminated against for jobs in Kentucky. There are hundreds of thousands more with high level felonies that, will never get their rights back. At this rate, in the not so distant future, there will be as many people, ineligible for work as there are eligible, and business in Kentucky, and elsewhere will not be able to function efficiently and grow. They may even have to move their business out of the state, or even out of the country to find a viable workforce.

    There is another troubling issue with wording in Ky Senate Bill 298. It “appears” to me at least that, anyone who receives a misdemeanor violation during the 5 year waiting time and, the 5 year good behavior time, will not be eligible to get their record expunged. Even if that was a misdemeanor traffic ticket, parking ticket or, Jay Walking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *