More Hope for Ex-Offenders in Michigan

Fresh start

Does someone you know and love have a record?

Has that record prevented that person from really starting over?

Hello and happy Friday! The Friday before a holiday always has a bit of excitement to it, don’t you think? For some convicted felons they may have even more reason to be excited.

Those who have been convicted of a felony have a really hard time starting over. Whether their conviction was 5 years ago or 20, it is still on their record. That record stares those convicted in the face every time they fill out a job application.

Two weeks ago, a bill that could give many a second chance moved to the Michigan House of Representatives to be voted on. According to The Lansing State Journal,

The bill would allow an ex-offender of any age to be eligible for an expungment if they have up to two misdemeanors and one felony, as long as the crimes were nonviolent. They wouldn’t become eligible to apply for an expungement until five years after they finished their parole or probation. And the judge in the case would still have discretion over whether to grant the request.”

The goal of this bill, according to Rep. Stacy Oakes, is to give people a second chance and to help them get employed.

Felons would still not be eligible for educational scholarships and certain professional licenses.

The one person to speak to the Lansing State Journal against the bill had this to say,

Why am I being victimized again by a law that is supposed to protect me,” he said. “Public officials shouldn’t be eligible for expungement. It just contributes to the secret justice system in Michigan.”

The real question is what do you think? Should felons receive a second chance after their debt to society has been paid?