PLATFORM overview


The aftermath of the tough on crime era, with its war on drugs, left devastating scars across America. The result of hundreds of laws passed that criminalized addiction and poverty-related crimes led to a whopping 70 million Americans living with a criminal record. In fact, 1 in 4 people in California has at least one conviction.

A criminal record subjects a person to nearly 40,000 laws that prevent them from employment, housing, education, and can even stop them from volunteering at their child’s school. Contrary to popular belief, a conviction on your record can NEVER be removed.

The impacts have been disastrous. Millions of families ripped apart, urban communities desolated, and local economies suffering under the weight of bloated criminal justice spending.

The Second Chances Project seeks to mitigate the over 4,000 collateral consequences of a conviction for the 8 million Californians with records. Through public education, innovative policy, and with your help, we believe we can pass smart justice legislation that reverses this horrible trend.

Join us by signing our I Believe in Second Chances Pledge and be a part of improving millions of lives around our state!


Sunset Convictions: End Lifelong Punishment Beyond Conviction

California must end its current de facto system that imposes un-bargained for punishments—through lifelong collateral consequence—far beyond sentence completion.

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Reduce Barriers to Obtaining an Occupational License

In California, licensing boards have broad discretion to deny, or revoke, or suspend a license – or impose a probationary or restricted license – on the grounds that a person committed a crime.

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Reduce Immigration Consequences through Expungement

Tearing immigrant families apart on the basis of a family member’s criminal history destabilizes communities, decreasing public safety.

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Advance Criminal Justice Reforms that Prioritize Reducing the Cycle of Crime and Improving Community Health

California should expand mental health and substance abuse treatment options and invest in affordable and supportive housing.

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Consolidate the Expungement Process

California’s existing “clean slate” laws are complicated, outdated, and fail to effectively remove collateral consequences

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Extend Funding for Workforce Development Agencies

The California Workforce Development Board administers grants aimed at assisting individuals under supervision. However, some of the funding is restrictive and does not cover the needs of formerly incarcerated people.

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Reduce Criminal Justice Debt

It is critical for California to reduce the number and amount of financial obligations facing people with convictions

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