Senate Bill 393 Signed By Governor BrownWednesday, October 25, 2017
The SF News – By Donald Roberts
SAN FRANCISCO—California Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 393 on October 11, the Consumer Arrest Record Equity (C.A.R.E.) Act, to seal arrest records and halt barriers to employment and housing for individuals arrested, but never convicted of a crime. The CARE Act, which was signed into law by the governor, was authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and was sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. The law goes into effect January 1, 2018.
“Individuals who are arrested but never convicted often face more hurdles to employment and housing than those who are found guilty of a crime,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This is unjust and contradictory to the presumption of innocence that is enshrined in the United States Constitution. The CARE Act ensures that thousands of Californians will no longer wear the scarlet letter that comes with an arrest record.”
“The Equity and Justice laws Governor Brown signed take a greatly needed step toward restoring the value of rehabilitation in our justice system,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Science is clear, young people are different, and as such have the capacity to change and become productive members of society. These Equity and Justice laws will give them that opportunity.”
“Our clients are routinely denied jobs and licenses based on non-conviction arrests,” said Sarah Crowley, Director of the Clean Slate Practice at the East Bay Community Law Center. “This bill’s expanded sealing remedy will help ensure that people are not penalized for criminal justice contacts that have no bearing on their ability or character.”
According to a press release from the SFDA’s Office, the CARE Act establishes a uniform legal process for a person to petition the court to seal arrest records that did not result in a conviction. It updates criminal records at both local and state levels so that credit reporting agencies and the California Department of Justice do not disseminate sealed arrest information.