Data News Staff Edited Report
NEW ORLEANS, LA. – State Senator Royce Duplessis has achieved a significant milestone with the successful passing of SB 111, also known as The New Endings and Opportunities Act. This landmark legislation benefits approximately 1.3 million Louisiana citizens who are currently eligible for expungement of non-violent crimes from their records.
The New Endings and Opportunities Act is designed to create pathways for individuals to access better employment opportunities, obtain adequate housing, and pursue educational endeavors. The bill emphasizes the need for system upgrades within the State’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information System and the Supreme Court Case Management Information System. These upgrades will streamline and automate the expungement process, allowing individuals to navigate the system more efficiently. By enhancing communication between various departments, such as the Sheriff’s Offices, Clerks of Courts, District Attorney’s Offices, the Louisiana State Police, and the Supreme Court, SB 111 aims to ensure a more cohesive and effective expungement process. Notably, the bill eliminates the $550 filing cost, effectively removing the most significant barrier to citizens seeking this relief.
“The goal is to get more people back to work, reduce recidivism and improve quality of life. Without a good job, some people see little hope of not returning to their previous lives that led to imprisonment, said Senator Royce Duplessis (D), who authored the bill in collaboration with the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.
The Justice and Accountability Center, an organization that advocates for Criminal Justice Reform, has been developing The New Endings and Opportunities Act (formerly known as Clean Slate) for four years and its leaders believe SB 111 will positively impact the state’s overall economy.
“We are grateful to our coalition of supporters, especially Senator Duplessis and former Representative Ted James for championing this legislation. We celebrate this milestone achievement and remain committed to improving and expanding this law for citizens seeking a better life through the expungement process,” said Sherie Thomas, Executive Director of Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.
SB 111 represents a significant step forward for Criminal Justice Reform in Louisiana. It underscores the state’s commitment to providing its citizens with fair opportunities to rebuild their lives, contributing to a stronger, more inclusive society.