S. 675: Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act of 2015

Sponsor: Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY] (Introduced 03/09/2015)

Amends the federal criminal code to provide a process for the sealing or expungement of records relating to nonviolent criminal or juvenile offenses.

Requires a court considering a petition to seal a nonviolent offense to balance factors including the harm of the protected information to the ability of the petitioner to secure and maintain employment.

Sets forth limitations on involuntary room confinements at juvenile detention facilities.

Amends the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) to remove offenses relating to possession or use of a controlled substance from the categories of drug offenses that result in the convicted individual being ineligible for assistance under: (1) a state program funded with temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) grants under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act; or (2) the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) or any state program carried out under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

Prohibits the denial of such assistance and benefits if the convicted individual: (1) has completed, is participating in, or agrees to enroll in a substance abuse treatment program; (2) is a custodial parent; (3) is suffering from a serious illness; (4) is pregnant; or (5) is in compliance with the terms of a sentence imposed for the conviction. Includes employment services among the categories of federal benefits that are not to be denied under PRWORA.

Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ), in awarding public safety and community policing grants, to give preferential consideration to an applicant in a state with laws similar to this Act.

Directs DOJ to establish procedures for the prompt release of accurate records exchanged for employment-related purposes through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s background check system. Requires DOJ to: (1) obtain the consent of an individual to whom a record pertains as a condition to exchanging records with an entity requesting the information for employment, housing, or credit application purposes; and (2) allow individuals to challenge the accuracy and completeness of their records.

Prohibits exchanges of records regarding: (1) an arrest more than two years before a record request if the record does not also include the disposition of that arrest; (2) non-serious offenses, such as drunkenness, vagrancy, loitering, disturbing the peace, or curfew violations; or (3) circumstances that are not clearly arrests or dispositions.

Cosponsors of S. 675

  • Booker, Cory [D-NJ] (joined Mar 9, 2015)