Subject: "Expungement in MAss"
Dear (Representative ___________),
My name is (your name) and I am from (your city/town).
I am reaching out about the effort to expand the existing youth expungement law so that it is more accessible to young people in Massachusetts.
The current law is very exclusive and most young people cannot qualify. It doesn't even distinguish between a conviction versus a dismissed case.
Race plays a central role in the problem with criminal records. Black youth are three times more likely to be arrested than their white peers. Black individuals are six times more likely to go to jail than whites despite being just 7.5% of the population. People of color are over-represented at every stage of the legal system and expungement will go a long way to undo the harm from this systemic racism.
Criminal records stay with people forever and prevent many from getting good jobs and a good education which puts an unnecessary strain on our economy . Records also have a very negative impact on mental health and they particularly hurt communities of color.
I know that the Legislature is planning to pass legislation to address police accountability and racial justice and I would really appreciate your support to make sure an expansion to the expungement law is included.
Will you reach out to leadership today to let them know you support a call to make the expungement law more accessible before the July 31st deadline?
Thank you for your consideration! This issue is very important to me, the young people in our community, and the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.