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Rick Collins’ New Huffington Post Blog Appearing on HuffPost Politics

Rick’s Latest Huffington Post Blog Addresses New Clemency Guidelines – and Even Greater Need for Criminal Record Sealing

sealingimagesRick Collins, a blogger for the Huffington Post Crime Section, is featured in a new blog post now appearing on Huffington Post Politics.  The blog addresses the recently announced new clemency guidelines, where Rick applauds the Administration’s revised guidelines as an important step in the right direction —  yet notes that a change in clemency policy in itself is only “half of the equation” … and what is really needed is a federal record sealing or expungement law.

The blog “Why Eric Holder’s Clemency Guidelines Fall Short” appears on HuffPost Politics.  In the blog, Rick points to the many problems and roadblocks that ex-offenders who live in states such as New York (which doesn’t have a sealing law) face once released from prison – where those with a criminal record are denied jobs, education and housing, making it nearly impossible for them to successfully reintegrate back into society.  Unfortunately, as Rick notes in his piece, “The beneficiaries of Holder’s clemency initiative will join this growing throng of second-class citizens, unemployed or under-employed, and forever denied their chance to pursue the American Dream due to their never-ending stigma as past convicted felons.”

Rick, who has spent years advocating for criminal record sealing in New York and is the co-chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association’s Sealing Committee, notes in his blog piece that “If we truly want to help non-violent ex-offenders, tax-payers, and society at large, granting clemency is only half the equation. The other half is to change our laws to help ex-offenders successfully reintegrate back into the productive community. The way to do this is with ‘second chance’ laws.”

There is no doubt that clemency and the Administration’s revised clemency guidelines will continue to be a major point of discussion in our country moving forward.  With this high profile piece, Rick hopes to keep the conversation going about that all-important second half of the equation: a federal record sealing or expungement law —  and making criminal record sealing a reality in states, such as New York, without a current sealing law.

To read Rick’s new Huffington Post blog, CLICK HERE.  For more information on the status of criminal record sealing/expungement law in New York, or questions about conditional record sealing in New York State, contact Rick’s office at [email protected], or call his assistant Ellie at 516-294-0300.

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