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What does hard empirical data suggest concerning expungement?

A recent article terms it a "groundbreaking" study focused on an important criminal law topic. It has also been called "remarkable."

With accolades like that, it would seem almost remiss for Shazam Kianpour & Associates to not address the recent findings from a major research effort spotlighting criminal records expungement. Its data is principally relevant to another state, but easily commands broad-based significance across the country, including in Colorado.

Expungement is not unfamiliar subject matter in our criminal law blogs. In fact, we just recently spotlighted it, noting in our March 11 entry the Turn Over a New Leaf program that offers expungement possibilities to select ex-offenders in Denver.

Whether expungement pays dividends - both for individuals with criminal records and the larger communities they interact with - is a core inquiry of the above Michigan Law School study.

Here is their take, grounded in a reported "extensive statewide analysis" of the subject matter: Expungement is a clearly beneficial offering that leads to markedly lower recidivism rates (subsequent crime commission) and enhanced employment opportunities.

Many eligible candidates don't seem to be applying for it, though, owing to multiple factors. Some are confused. Others fear the criminal justice system, loathe expungement's administrative exactions, think the process might be expensive, and so forth.

That is lamentable and needs to be changed, say study authors. Limiting public access to the criminal records of duly vetted ex-offenders has strongly positive effects across multiple dimensions.

Questions or concerns regarding expungement availability and processes in Colorado can be directed to a proven Denver criminal defense team.

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