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As one of our more than 6.9 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators today and ask them to support the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), “to provide for the sealing or expungement of records relating to Federal nonviolent criminal offenses, and for other purposes,” and to co-sponsor the bill if they have not already done so.
The justice system is currently structured in such a way that young offenders, convicted of strictly non-violent crimes, often have their whole lives tarnished by a criminal record resulting from a youthful mistake. The stigma that comes with such a record can severely limit opportunities for employment and education, and too often, this lack of options can lead young people into a life a crime.
The REDEEM Act would automatically and permanently seal the criminal records of juvenile non-violent offenders, and expunge the records of offenders under the age of 15, if they have not reoffended after three years. It would also allow adult non-violent offenders to petition the courts to have their records sealed if they have not reoffended a year after the completion of their sentence.
The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that even reducing the rate of repeat offenses even slightly could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The REDEEM Act gives young people a chance to correct past wrongs and become productive members of society rather than spending their whole lives as a drain on the system.
An entire life should not be destroyed because of a single, non-violent offense in one’s teenage years. I hope you’ll contact your senators and urge them to support and co-sponsor the REDEEM Act, S. 675.
Matt Kibbe President & CEO, FreedomWorks