Lisa Blunt Rochester

From the office of:

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Sending Office: Honorable Lisa Blunt Rochester
Sent By:

February 20, 2020


Dear Colleague:

We invite you to join us in cosponsoring H.R. 2348,
the Clean Slate Act
, bipartisan criminal justice reform intended to give those who served their time a second chance to live productive and fulfilling lives.

Today, one in three Americans now has some type of criminal record and many of those records are for relatively minor, nonviolent offenses. Unfortunately, even these minor offenses present a significant barrier for employment, housing, and education. According
to the Center for American Progress, approximately nine in ten employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges now require background checks. These barriers present life-altering challenges for people that already paid the price for their
crimes. Worse, these lifelong barriers are also a significant drag on our national economy. The Center for Economic Policy Research estimated economic losses as high as $87
billion to yearly U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

It is clear that there is need for reform. The Clean Slate Act is a commonsense reform that would align federal policy with the groundbreaking efforts undertaken by many states. Our bill would, for the first time, allow federal nonviolent criminal
records to be sealed. Specifically the Clean Slate Act would:

  • Automatically seal an individual’s federal criminal record if they have been convicted of simple possession or any federal nonviolent offense involving marijuana.
  • Create a new procedure that allows individuals to petition the United States Courts to seal records for nonviolent offenses that are not automatically sealed.
  • Require automatic sealing of arrest records for individuals acquitted, exonerated, or otherwise did not have charges filed against them.
  • Authorize district courts to appoint a public defender to help indigent petitioners file and successfully seal their reports.
  • Protect employers from liability for any claim arising out of the misconduct of an employee if that misconduct relates to a sealed criminal record.

There is a national need to reverse the long-term societal barriers and consequences of U.S. drug policy over the last 40 years. The
Clean Slate Act would address this decades’ old issue through a fair process that balances judicial flexibility, due process, and the needs of our communities.  

If you have questions or would like to join the Clean Slate Act, please contact Earsdale Ash in Rep. Blunt Rochester’s office at, or Emily Ackerman in Rep. Reschenthaler’s
office at




Lisa Blunt Rochester                                                        Guy Reschenthaler

Member of Congress                                                        Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Economy, Judiciary

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Number: 2348
Special Note:

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