In support of Senator Roderick Wright’s bill, Attorney Mathew Higbee has been the lead contributor to expand benefits towards California’s current expungement law. SB 530, the bill, is expected to be approved by the committee.
Higbee said, “In many ways, California is very progressive and innovative when it comes to helping former offenders. We provide drug treatment, continuing education, job training and even tattoo removal. But California does not remove the one thing that many other states do, and that is the label of criminal. California’s law governing expungement and other post-conviction remedies are inadequate, as a result, all of those investments in rehabilitation and training are marginalized— leading to unnecessary unemployment, under-employment, and waste of human capital.”
Higbee further explained to the committee that California does have a variety of programs created to assist former offenders, but California’s current expungement law does not leave much room for former offenders to progress.
Currently, SB 530 expands the eligibility for the certificate of rehabilitation, while codifying a regulation that stops employers from discriminating against people who have expunged their conviction. The bill will provide greater benefits to more people.
“I am expecting the bill to create a new legal remedy that will allow some offenders to have convictions removed from their Department of Justice report, commonly know as a Live Scan report,” said Higbee.