During the last election, my husband and I were out door knocking. There was a young man standing out on his driveway, he was not on my list as a house to visit. I believe it was during the primary election, but I usually stop and speak to people who are outside whether they are on my list or not.
We went over and I introduced myself. He started telling me about an issue that he had and if I could possibly help him. This young man had been arrested when he was a teenager. He was told by the judge that his record would not follow him since he was still a juvenile when he committed the crime. This young man never got into trouble again.
He was married and had two children and worked for a local contractor. His boss wanted him to work on a particular project and there was a background check that was required. When he took this background check, he was flagged. He could not understand why he was being flagged because the judge had told him his charges would not follow him and he had not been in any trouble since. The charges did follow him. He could not even coach his son’s baseball team because of his juvenile record. He submitted his expungement papers but he was denied because of how the law was written.
After listening to his story, I told him I would look into the issue. I worked with the Public Defenders Office and we wrote a bill that would help him and many other Delawareans. The bill was introduced last March and it was signed into law on June 17, 2015. My constituent filed his expungement papers over the summer and he received notice that his record had been expunged. I have to say when my constituent contacted me and told me that the expungement went through, I was so proud. It really made me see how this job can really help individual people and truly make a different in one’s life.
Here is a link to House Bill 75 and below is the synopsis of the bill.
|The continued existence and dissemination of juvenile criminal histories hampers an individual’s ability to be a successful and productive member of society. Juvenile criminal histories are a hindrance to employment, education, housing and credit. This act modifies the discretionary expungement provisions to allow more individuals the ability to petition the Court for an expungement. These changes allow the Court to consider an expungement where the individual has demonstrated rehabilitation despite multiple youthful indiscretions. These provisions will enable a greater number of deserving youth the ability to move beyond their past and recognizes that most youth mature out of offending behavior.|