Testimony on H.B. 5019: An act concerning fair futures following erasure of criminal records

Joint Committee on Judiciary

March 9, 2020

Submitted By: Mackenzie Baysinger

The National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2,400 members statewide, supports H.B No. 5019. Passing this legislation means a stronger workforce, more successful society, and a more just process within the criminal justice system.

This legislation would provide a more equitable system to address the racial and ethnic disparities that are disproportionately evident across the criminal justice system today. This bill is Connecticut’s opportunity to look to the success of Utah and Pennsylvania who have passed similar legislation to continue the advancement of criminal justice reform.

According to the Center for American Progress, between 70 million and 100 million Americans have some type of criminal record. This bill would assist people in finding jobs, secure housing, go to college and even giving them a greater sense of community while also providing the recognition of the person’s worth. Social Workers believe in recognizing the dignity and worth of each person, regardless of their background. This bill would do just that for people who continue to be stigmatized and labeled by society based on their criminal justice record.

The National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter asks for your support in H.B. 5019 to ensure that all people have their dignity and worth recognized and the ability to be successful in their communities.

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