Expunging or sealing records Article


Governor Ducey's Second Chance Box

On November 6, 2017, Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive order 2017-07.  With this executive order, Arizona joins more than 2 dozen other states by changing state employment procedures to give former felons a fair shot at employment.  Before the recent order, job applications used by state agencies contained a question about the applicant’s criminal history.    Now, that practice will be banned.  The idea behind the Order is to give those who have paid their debt to society a second chance.  The criminal conviction issue may come up later during the job application process, but at least former felons will have their chance to get their foot in the door.  Applications for state jobs will no longer have the dreaded box that must be checked “yes” if the applicant has a criminal history.

    The Executive Order lists some hard facts about how a criminal conviction affects the life of the former felon and his family.
•    A criminal record on an application reduces the chances of being called back for a job interview by almost 50%.
•    Men with criminal records comprise 34% of healthy men aged 25-54, who are unemployed.
•    Two years after release, former felons with jobs are twice as likely as their unemployed counterparts to avoid trouble with the law.
•    Gainful employment is well known to be one of the best ways to decrease recidivism.
•    An estimated 1.5 million Arizonans have an arrest or criminal conviction on their record and that arrest record impedes the ability to find a decent job.

The State of Arizona is one of the largest employers in the state.  That makes this new state policy an important step in helping former felons enter the job market.  While the criminal conviction issue will very likely come up during the job interview or during the post interview vetting process, proponents hope, at that juncture, it will have far less impact.  By then, the interviewer will have met the individual, assessed his qualifications for the job, and be in a better position to determine if the conviction is even relevant to the job in question.

State agencies will look at more than the bald fact of a criminal record.  The agencies will consider the nature, circumstances and the recentness of the crime.  Was the crime eight or nine years in the past; was it the act of a youth with drug or alcohol issues that have since been resolved; was it a one-time thing arising from stressful circumstances?  The agency will consider if the crime is likely to affect future job performance.  For example:  a prior conviction for embezzlement would be a negative if the job involves handling state funds.  But many former felons with DUI convictions, drug offenses, shop lifting and even burglary convictions may have grown older and wiser.  They may be hoping to start anew to live a normal, productive life.  They deserve the chance to do that.

This executive order will have no impact on private industry.  Employers in the private sector will remain free to create their own employment policies on criminal history, but the Governor hopes that the state’s example will influence others.  Nor will the Order affect employment procedures for law enforcement agencies and the Department of Corrections.  Several Arizona cities, including Tucson, Tempe, and Phoenix, have already implemented similar policies and are hopeful these new policies will help people move forward toward a positive future.


Resources

www.azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/related-docs/boxeo.pdf

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • whats the best way to expunge or seal records if all u have is misdaminors?
  • When I was 18 I got a class 6 undesignated felony. I did my probation and got off it early. I turned in paperwork to the court to try and get it dropped down and it got denied. I am currently in my second year of ASU and have not been in any trouble. What can I do? I will not be able to get a job.
  • I have 9 traffic violations on my record.Can I set aside all 9
  • If I was arrested for domestic violence, but my case was dismissed. Can the case be expunging?
  • are all sexual misconduct w/minor (vctim age 11) convictions ineligible for a "setting aside of judgement"? Only 1 criminal charge ever, probabtion complete no further law enforcement contact ...
  • can i get my covictions set aside in arizona if i now live in WI and do i have to be in AZ to apear in court for them to be set aside
  • Is it helpful to get set asides on misdemeanor convictions besides paraphinalia or drug related. Misdemeanor convictions.bcuz on an Arizona website it says it would be less help with other types of misdemeanor s besides drug related. Either way what are my career options with several misdemeanors that are5 to 2 years old? ? :( I don't think I'll be Abe to maintain a level one finger print clearance card a level one card to be exact so I need to know all of my career options for Arizona. Or would I be better off moving out of state. Or is there enough forgiveness in this state for wide options
  • I committed forgery 17 years ago and have since had the charge set aside. I am currently going to school for my BSN and am having difficulty getting a fingerprint level one card. What steps do I need to take to receive a pardon or have the felony shown as removed?
  • I have a class 6 felony going back to 1993 i would like to get my gun rights back
  • I was convicted State Jail Felony in Texas (POCS) in 1999 and was sentenced to 9months in a State Jail Facility in Dayton, TX. I have since lived a model lifestyle, drug free and employed. We moved to AZ in 2006. My father in law passed away last month, so my husband wants to bring his handgun home. Is this legal in AZ or do I need to go in front of a judge?

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