The week of September 19 to 26, 2020 is Expungement Week, which brings awareness to the unnecessary, everyday barriers faced by people with criminal records. One third of all American adults have a prior arrest or conviction records. As too many people know, a criminal record means facing discrimination when it comes to housing, education, employment and more for decades after the fact.
We believe people deserve a second chance at life. Due to COVID-19, we made Expungement Week 2020 digital. Below is a series of virtual resources designed to help teach you more about the power of expungement and what criminal justice reform looks like in Hawai‘i.
Reform will make our communities safer.
Dr. Jamee Mahealani Miller of ‘Ekolu Mea Nui discusses the current landscape of Hawaii's criminal legal system and where it fails people, particular Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
Jen Brown, Associate Director of the Hawaii Innocence Project, gives a rundown of what expungement is, who qualifies for it and the full process of getting your record expunged.
Survivors Not Criminals bill
Khara Jabola-Carolus, Executive Director, of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women discusses the history-making Survivors Not Criminals law, which allows relief from the criminalization of sex workers.
Mandy Fernandes, ACLU of Hawai‘i Policy Director, discusses Act 273, which decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use and how this can be expunged from someone's record.
Lookback bill and pardons
Jen Jenkins, a Public Policy Advocate at Office of Hawaiian Affairs, discusses the Lookback bill, which was passed in the most recent Legislative Session. This bill helps reduce discrimination against employment, which disparately impacts people of color.
Reentry — a new vision
Attorney Carrie Ann Shirota discusses a vision of criminal justice reform here in Hawai‘i, and why it's imperative that rehabilitation starts on day one.
Visit these websites for more information on qualifying for an expungement and to download the necessary forms. If you don’t qualify for an expungement, exercise your right to vote and select candidates who believe in reforming our criminal legal system and expanding expungements to give more people second chances.
For expungement information and to download the Expungement Application visit the Hawai‘i Criminal Justice Data Center.
For information on sealing your records after expungement visit the Hawai‘i State Law Library.
For information on voting in Hawai‘i with a criminal record visit our information page.