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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 107 History

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hcr107 intr
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 107

(By Delegates Fleischauer, Beach, Louisos, Susman and Swartzmiller)




Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to conduct a study of the feasibility of enacting a more comprehensive expungement statute which would provide for the sealing of misdemeanor and certain felony records of first time offenders of all ages on an individual basis.

Whereas, West Virginia Code §61-11-26 provides for expungement of misdemeanors for first time offenders between the ages of 18 and 26; and
Whereas, Under current West Virginia law, some first time offenders convicted of a nonviolent crime years or even decades ago may not have recourse to expunge his or her criminal record; and
Whereas, Other states, such as Ohio, have adopted statutes which provide for expungement of criminal records for first time misdemeanor offenders and certain felony offenders of all ages; and
Whereas, The economic prospects for former offenders trying to find a job is severely diminished when forced to reveal their status to prospective employers; and in many cases this lack of job stability perpetuates a cycle of poverty which becomes a major contributor to recidivism, and which in turn increases demands on our state prison system and drives up prison costs; and
Whereas, A more comprehensive expungement statute would not only improve the economic prospects of former offenders - it would also remove or minimize obstacles towards obtaining housing, education, and the restoration of voting rights; and
Whereas, A more comprehensive expungement statute would reward nonviolent offenders for good behavior and a demonstrated desire and commitment to rehabilitating themselves by assisting them in re-establishing themselves as full members of their communities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is requested to conduct a study of the feasibility of enacting a more comprehensive expungement statute which would provide for the sealing of misdemeanor and certain felony records of first time offenders of all ages on an individual basis; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2010, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
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