May 23, 2022
Following decades of failed tough-on-crime policies in the United States, between 70 million and 100 million Americans now have some type of criminal record, standing in the way of basics like jobs and housing for a huge swath of the nation’s citizens. But a policy that’s been gaining bipartisan steam in the states over the past five years, known as “Clean Slate,” has started to chip away at that gargantuan figure, by enabling people to have eligible records automatically wiped after they remain crime-free. In a special episode of Off-Kilter recorded at the Clean Slate Initiative’s first annual convening in Detroit, Rebecca sat down with several of the leaders in the Clean Slate movement to talk recent wins in the states, how people’s lives are being changed for the better, and the road ahead for criminal record-clearing with tough-on-crime rhetoric on the rise.
This episode’s guests: Sheena Meade, managing director of the Clean Slate Initiative; Sharon Dietrich, litigation director at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia; Noella Sudbury, executive director of Clean Slate Utah; Josh Hoe, policy analyst at Safe and Just Michigan; and Zaki Smith, one of the leaders of the Clean Slate New York campaign.