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Clean State Clearinghouse

The Clean Slate Clearinghouse—a project funded by, and developed in partnership with, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—helps support juvenile and adult criminal record clearance around the country by:

  • Providing people with criminal records and non-legal service providers with accurate, up-to-date information on record clearance and mitigation as well as contact information for legal service providers in all U.S. states and territories;
  • Supporting legal service providers currently engaged in record clearance work and giving new legal service providers the tools and resources they need to develop record clearance programs; and
  • Giving policymakers the information they need to compare their state’s record clearance policies to those of other states and to learn about best practices.

Roughly 70 million adults in the U.S. have a criminal record. Additionally, more than one million youth are charged with crimes and acquire juvenile court records each year. For both adults and juveniles, these records have long-lasting collateral consequences that may hinder an individual’s attempts at gaining employment, housing, and even returning to school.

Criminal record clearance enables a person’s criminal history information to be removed from easy public access, most often with the goal of improving employment and other outcomes for people with criminal records. Criminal record clearance is referred to differently in every state: commonly used terms include sealing, expungement, restricting, deleting, closure, and destruction, among others.

The Clean Slate Clearinghouse—which is a collaboration between The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, the National Juvenile Defender Center, the National Association of Counties, and the National League of Cities—builds on years of DOL Employment and Training Administration and DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance’s efforts and represents a continued commitment from DOL and DOJ to improve employment outcomes for people with criminal records and meet employers’ needs for qualified workers.

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