For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today released the following statement after Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Second Chance Act (SB 562) into law after it unanimously passed the North Carolina General Assembly.
“People are not who they were at their worst moment. Giving people with a criminal past a fair opportunity to successfully rebuild their lives and rejoin their communities makes us all stronger. The Second Chance Act does just that by making it easier for people with old, non-violent felonies and misdemeanors to get their records expunged and by automatically expunging charges of people who were not convicted. With clean records, they can get jobs, provide for their families, and invest in their communities.
“Because we know that there are racial disparities in our criminal justice system, removing legal barriers to effective reentry is also a racial justice issue. We’re in a critical moment with real momentum behind improving how the criminal justice system treats Black people, other communities of color, and those who are not wealthy. This legislation is an important step forward in creating real change, and I am committed to helping to lead the work to understand, promote, and implement additional solutions to build a more equitable society for every person.
“We all benefit when every North Carolinian has the chance to meet their potential and contribute to the full extent of their talent. I commend both chambers of the General Assembly for their unanimous support of the bill and Gov. Cooper for signing it into law.”