Criminal Records


Friday, May 10, 2013
This week, Minnesota joined the national movement to “ban the box.”   Its legislature passed, with bi-partisan support, a bill that would prevent public and private employers from asking about criminal history on an initial application.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 4, 2013
A Kent woman unfairly denied rental housing is suing the tenant screening company that recommended she be denied housing because of a two-decade-old criminal conviction. It violates the Washington Fair Credit Reporting Act for tenant screeners to report criminal history information older than seven years. Everyone deserves a fair chance at a fresh start.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Since the turn of the century, juvenile courts have been separate from adult courts. The goal of juvenile courts, as the Supreme Court recognized over 50 years ago, is to determine how to rehabilitate juveniles and “save [them] from a downward career.” To further these goals, juvenile court records have historically been shielded from public view. This system allows juveniles to enter adulthood without being publicly labeled as criminals.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Over ten years ago, during a protest, Janet was arrested for trespassing, convicted, and sentenced to 20 hours of community service. She has committed no crimes since then. But, like many Americans, Janet is now looking for a job, and her criminal record is proving an obstacle.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Samantha*, a single mother from Seattle, is actively searching for housing for herself and her young daughter. She was once involved in crimes connected to her drug addiction, but served her time in prison and successfully completed rehab. All she needs to be a productive citizen supporting her child is a decent place to live.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
In the final days of the year, typically dominated by annual “best of” lists, a simple call by President Obama managed to spurt multiple headlines and ignite a flurry of conversations. In his call to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, President Obama reportedly applauded the team for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance. In 2007 Vick pleaded guilty to charges related to practices of animal cruelty, and served a 19-month sentence in federal prison. The President reportedly told Lurie, “So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. It's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.” The President’s call emphasized an important reality that more and more political leaders and policymakers are acknowledging: America has a big problem with over-incarceration, and its pernicious effects are not limited to the grim confines inside of jailhouse walls.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A broken criminal justice system doesn’t just affect felons, it impacts us. In an insightful article in The Pacific Northwest Inlander correspondent Leah Sottile discusses the many challenges individuals with criminal convictions face long after they’ve paid their debts to society. These “collateral consequences” hurt not only ex-felons, but also their children, as when their families cannot get stable and safe housing. A single mother with a non-violent drug conviction over 20 years old notes that she’s “going to have to move into a place that’s dangerous for my children…My children now have to grow up around the same things that influenced me to become a felon.”
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Plaintiff statements for Madison v. State.