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Expungement Bill Filed! Support HB334!

We write with exciting news - HB334 has been filed in the Georgia House of Representatives! Rep. Tyler Paul Smith, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, authored the bill. We are happy to work with Chairman Smith on this piece of legislation that will make expungement work better for more people. We will keep you informed when the bill is scheduled for a hearing. Until then, read below to hear more about why expungement reform will benefit all Georgians.

Criminal record clearing, commonly referred to as "expungement," is a vital tool to help people with criminal records avoid a lifetime of punishment for their offense. At GJP, every day we see people with minor records who still struggle to achieve their goals due to a years-old offense. Expungement offers a chance for these individuals to finally be freed from their old record - with benefits that extend to entire communities and the state at large.

Simply put, expungement works. 

Did you know expungement 2023 3

Those with records see profound benefits from expungement, with an average wage increase of 22% within one year of record clearance.[1] Our clients often report added benefits that are more intangible but no less real: the chance to close a painful chapter, gain closure with the judicial system, and move into a new future without the weight of a criminal record.

Expungement also makes communities safer. We know that a job cuts recidivism in half,[2] and that a good job reduces it even further.[3] One study found that fewer than 1% of people were convicted of a felony within 5 years of record clearance.[4] As a matter of public safety, the more people who receive expungement, the better.

Finally, expungement strengthens the economy. Georgia law provides some of the strongest protections in the country for second-chance hiring - particularly for employers who hire those whose records have been expunged. For that reason, more expungement means a broader applicant pool with minimal liability risk for Georgia's businesses. With this expanded work force and associated increased tax base, a study showed that the public benefits of expungement outweigh costs by $5,760 per individual.[5]

You can find out more about how HB334 will make Georgia's expungement law work better for more people. Make sure to sign up for action alerts to stay up-to-date on its progress. You can also share your story about having multiple misdemeanors on your record as we seek to remove limits on how many misdemeanors can be cleared from someone's record.  Your experience and voice can persuade legislators about why the laws need to be changed. 


[1] Collateral Consequences Resource Center (2018). Michigan set-asides found to increase wages and reduce recidivism. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 3, 361-362. doi:10.1525/fsr.2018.30.4-5.361

[2] Safer Foundation. Safer Foundation three-year recidivism study (2008).

[3] Fair Chance Licensing Reform: Opening Pathways for People with Records to Join Licensed Professions, available at

[4] Prescott, J.J. and Starr, Sonja B., Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study (2020) Harvard Law Review

[5] Chapin, M., Elhanan, A., Rillera, M., Solomon, A.K., & Woods, T.L. (2014). A cost-benefit analysis of criminal record expungement in Santa Clara County. Stanford Public Policy

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