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Save the NC Second Chance Act


Save the NC Second Chance Act: Tell Your Representative to Vote AGAINST Repealing Automatic Expunction

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Forward Party urges all North Carolinians to stand against the repeal of automatic expunction by voting against this detrimental move. The NC Second Chance Act has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for countless individuals in our state, enabling them to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to society.

Expungement laws in North Carolina allow individuals to have certain non-violent criminal records erased, thereby restoring their legal status as if the offense never occurred.

“We have to be willing to give people second chances,” said Barbara Gaskins, North Carolina Forward Party Executive Committee Member and criminal justice expert. “It is important for automatic expunctions to be in place so that people in the eastern part of the state can benefit. When someone is looking for work or housing, those charges still appear without an automatic expungement or a long and potentially expensive legal process to get an expungement. This could negatively impact a person's chance at social mobility.”

Why the NC Second Chance Act Matters

The NC Second Chance Act plays a pivotal role in helping people clear their criminal records, thereby opening doors to employment, housing, and education. These are essential steps for individuals seeking a fresh start and a productive future.

Key Benefits of Automatic Expunction

  • Access for All: Automatic expunction ensures that everyone who qualifies can benefit, regardless of their financial resources or awareness of their eligibility. Many people can't afford legal help to clear their records or don't know they're eligible. This system levels the playing field and ensures equal access to this critical service.
  • Economic Impact: Clearing records significantly enhances access to jobs and housing, which in turn boosts the local economy. Studies show that individuals are 11% more likely to be employed and earn 22% more within a year of having their records cleared.
  • Proven Results: In just the first nine months of implementation, 400,000 cases were successfully expunged. This statistic alone demonstrates the effectiveness and necessity of automatic expunction.

Addressing the Challenges

While there were initial technical challenges, an expert group has already proposed viable solutions, including:

  • Extending the processing time for expunctions.
  • Implementing a notification system for local law enforcement.
  • Allowing District Attorneys and Clerks access to necessary records.

The Bigger Picture

Maintaining automatic expunction is crucial for enabling more individuals to move forward without the burdens of past mistakes. This contributes to safer communities, a stronger economy, and reduced recidivism. The NC Second Chance Act not only helps individuals but also strengthens our society as a whole.

Take Action

We urge everyone to contact your representative and tell them to vote AGAINST the repeal of automatic expunction. By doing so, you will be supporting North Carolina communities and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity for a second chance.