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Michigan ‘Clean Slate’ Update

April 3, 2023

As Michigan deals with extraordinary workforce shortages and problematic demographic trends, we have ramped up efforts to increase labor force participation rates. These efforts have expanded the SBAM agenda to include things like child care, broadband access, disability employment, social service restricting, and criminal justice reform. 

A few years ago, SBAM supported the development and passage of expanded expungement of certain criminal records, depending on the type and severity of the crime. That law takes effect in April 2023. While expungement has always been available, the process has been complicated and expensive. This reform expunges some nonviolent criminal records after 7 or 10 years automatically. 

Criminal records often limit career and job opportunities for a person to get back in the workforce. 2.8 million Michiganders have a criminal record. About 1 million of them will qualify for automatic expungement of at least some of their charges on April 11th. This means that they have older nonviolent offenses and have had no new convictions or charges in many years (number of years depends on the type of conviction). 400,000 of them will have no remaining criminal record. 

At SBAM, maximizing the workforce is a top priority. There’s no one answer to getting this work done. Rather, it requires that we make progress in many areas where people are sidelined. This is an important piece of the puzzle. 

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