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Mayor Bowser to Highlight Legislative Reforms to Overhaul Criminal Record Sealing Process

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Thousands of DC Residents Will Get a Second Chance at a Pathway to the Middle Class

(Washington, DC) – On Thursday, September 14, at 12 pm, Mayor Muriel Bowser will announce a series of legislative reforms to simplify the process of sealing arrest and conviction records of DC residents, which will provide them a second chance at employment and housing opportunities. The legislative reforms include mandating the automatic sealing of arrests that are not prosecuted, as well as cases that do not result in a conviction; shortening the time period a person must wait before their record can be sealed; and ordering a review of the types of convictions that are eligible for record sealing.

Each year, more than 40,000 individuals are arrested in the District and almost one-third of the arrests are not prosecuted (no-papered), but a criminal record exists. Of this group, more than 10,000 people seek assistance from the Public Defender Service to have their records sealed in DC Superior Court, which is currently a confusing and complicated process. Additionally, there are a limited number of crimes eligible to be sealed, but the large majority of criminal offenses – including almost every felony – are never eligible. The Mayor’s proposed legislation will overturn the current law that states individuals must prove they deserve to have their record sealed, even if there had never been any findings of guilt.


Thursday, September 14, at 12 pm


Mayor Muriel Bowser
Kevin Donahue, Deputy Mayor, Public Safety and Justice
Brian Ferguson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs


John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Mayor’s Press Briefing Room (G-9)
*Closest Metros: Federal Triangle and Metro Center Metro Stations*

Press interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP to [email protected]. To view the event online, visit mayor.dc.gov/live or tune in on Channel 16.