AUSTIN – Today, the Texas House will consider Senate Bill 1902, which relates to the eligibility of criminal defendants for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information. Texas Public Policy Foundation Center for Effective Justice Policy Analyst Greg Glod issued the following statement:
“This bill is about giving those individuals who made one minor mistake in their past an opportunity to have a second chance,” said Glod. “Proper housing and employment are critical factors in determining who reoffends or not and even a minor criminal record can have irreparable damage on obtaining both. An order of nondisclosure for one-time, low level offenders who have shown they have learned from their fault will go a long way to properly re-enter these ex-offenders in society and prevent future recidivism.”
SB 1902 would allow individuals convicted of a first-time, low-level, non-sexual, non-family violence, non-DUI/DWI misdemeanors to petition a judge for an order of nondisclosure. Orders of nondisclosure seal a criminal record from the general public—while permitting law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and sensitive fields such as health, education, and finance to see the record.
Currently, individuals can only receive an order of nondisclosure if they have completed deferred adjudication for certain misdemeanors and felonies. SB 1902 would only expand eligibility for orders of nondisclosure for certain first-time misdemeanor offenders. SB 1902 also requires a prosecutor to receive notice of the petition for an order of nondisclosure and for a judge to grant the order in the best interest of justice.
The Texas Senate passed SB 1902 by a 25-6 vote on May 5, 2015.
To schedule an interview with Mr. Glod, please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.
Greg Glod is a policy analyst with the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.