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New law could help nonviolent offenders get hired
A new law in Illinois allows nonviolent, first-time offenders the chance to have their records sealed, meaning most employers will not have access to that information.
This could give some a better chance at getting a job since there will no longer be a black mark on their record.
The bill, signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, mandates that the Prison Review Board has to evaluate the offender’s case. Only then can it be sent to the court to decide if it will be sealed. However, law enforcement officials can still access it.
Melissa Williams, chairperson of the NAACP Criminal Justice Committee’s Chicago West Side Branch, welcomes the law but said it still leaves many rehabilitated people with few options to escape the stigma of a criminal conviction.
Opponents of sealing legislation maintain that people with criminal records have to take responsibility and live with the crimes they commit.