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Sen. Ossoff Pushes for Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Legislation to Expunge Records for Nonviolent Juvenile Offenses

Legislation would give people who committed nonviolent crimes as juveniles a second chance

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pushing to pass the bipartisan First Step Implementation Act of 2021, which would seal or expunge the records of eligible nonviolent juvenile offenders.

This bill would give Georgians who were convicted of nonviolent federal offenses as children the chance for a fresh start without a criminal record.

Sen. Ossoff is a leader in working to secure equal justice for all Americans regardless of race or class.

“A nonviolent juvenile offender shouldn’t be marked for life by a mistake they made or a bad situation they found themselves in as a child,” Sen. Ossoff said. “This bipartisan legislation will expunge the juvenile records of eligible nonviolent offenders, so Georgians who committed nonviolent federal offenses as children don’t face a lifetime of stigma and reduced opportunity. This is about second chances for young people.”

This reform would be retroactive, applying to people currently in prison and those sentenced in the future.

S. 1014, the First Step Implementation Act of 2021, would:

  • Provide for the sealing or expungement of records of eligible nonviolent juvenile offenders;
  • Allow courts to reduce sentences imposed on juvenile offenders who have served more than 20 years;
  • Allow courts to apply the First Step Act sentencing reform provisions retroactively;
  • Allow courts to sentence below a mandatory minimum for non-violent controlled substance offenses, if the court finds the defendant’s criminal history over-represents the seriousness of the defendant’s criminal record and the likelihood of recidivism; and
  • Require the Attorney General to establish procedures ensuring that only accurate criminal records are shared for employment-related purposes.

The legislation is endorsed by the following organizations: American Conservative Union, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Dream Corps JUSTICE, Drug Policy Alliance, Due Process Institute, FAMM, Federal Public and Community Defenders, Human Rights for Kids, Justice Action Network, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, Prison Fellowship, R Street Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and FreedomWorks.

Find the First Step Implementation Act of 2021, here.

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