In the past two years we have seen two pioneering studies about record clearing: J.J. Prescott and Sonja Starr’s “Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study” and Colleen Chien’s “America’s Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap”. These papers have changed the way advocates talk about record clearing by answering questions like:
- How many people qualify for record relief but have not accessed it?
- What is the “second chance gap,” and why does it exist?
- Does record clearing lead to higher wages? To more crime?
- What can we do to increase access to record clearing? What barriers must be addressed?