Andrew Cullen, legislative liaison for the Indiana Public Defender Council, said someone from another state who had his or her criminal record expunged could pass a criminal background check, while an Indiana resident with a record couldn’t. Cullen also argued the bill offers an incentive to people with a criminal record.
“This is the type of bill that not only reduces recidivism, which assists the criminal justice system, but it gives people who’ve committed a crime the hope, that one day, that’s going to finally be behind them if they follow the rules.”
The bill has also earned the support of the Greater Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Angela Smith Jones, the chamber’s director of public policy, said the cost of high unemployment among ex-offenders takes a toll on communities.
“It deteriorates the community-structurally, economically, emotionally and socially,” she said. “For all of those reasons, it’s important for those who’ve remedied themselves and are on the right path, to give them opportunity to get back into the work force, get trained and contribute to the community.”
— Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org