Issued February 5, 2021

EN 1. See “About,” National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction, accessed January 2021,

EN 50. See generally “50-State Comparison—Consideration of Criminal Records in Licensing and Employment,” Restoration of Rights Project, last accessed January 2021, http://

EN 64. See the Clean Slate Clearinghouse at for more information about record clearance authorities. Recent expansions to record clearance mechanisms, certificates of relief, and other general relief mechanisms are detailed in a periodically updated report published by the Collateral Consequences Resource Center. See Margaret Love and David Schlussel, The Reintegration Agenda During Pandemic: Criminal Record Reforms in 2020 (Washington, DC: Collateral Consequences Resource Center, 2021). Additional state-by-state information about these policies is available from the Restoration of Rights Project at

EN 67. The cost of filing a request for relief, requirements that court debt be paid before seeking relief, and lack of awareness of the availability or benefits of relief all contribute to the phenomenon whereby few of the people who qualify for relief actually seek and obtain it. See generally, Colleen Chien, “America’s Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap,” 119 Mich. L. Rev. 519 (2020), available at In an effort to close this so-called “second chance gap,” states have begun considering policies that automatically seal or expunge records of certain convictions after a period of time. In 2018, Pennsylvania became the first state to enact a widely available automatic record clearance authority. See 2018 Act 56. The state’s Clean Slate Act requires automated sealing of broad classes of misdemeanors after a ten-year waiting period. California and Utah both enacted their own similar “Clean Slate” laws in 2019. See AB-1076 (California, 2019); HB-431 (Utah, 2019).