By Kent Oyler
President and CEO of Greater Louisville, Inc.

It’s time to ask ourselves how fair, efficient and just is it to brand non-violent law breakers for life, especially ones who were never even convicted? Is it fair to forever deny job-ready adults employment opportunities?  Should even minor offenses carry a life sentence?

It’s time for our legislators to support bi-partisan efforts to expand the scope of expungements by allowing select nonviolent felons to have their records sealed. GLI supports legislation that will ease the burden tens of thousands of Kentuckians face in finding employment due to years-old arrests.  The legislative changes we support contain safeguards for employers and the public and exclude many crimes against spouses, children and the elderly, as well as certain levels of financial crimes.

This is not being soft on crime; it’s being smart about how we treat people who have paid their debts to society and stand ready to re-enter the workforce and participate fully in the economy.

In a time when our nation faces widespread civil discontent, based in part on high unemployment among those who somewhere in their history crossed into the legal system, and labor shortages plague many businesses, expungement reform provides some rare common ground. 

The American system of justice does not require people’s hands to be cut off to evidence punishment for minor crimes, nor should it require employment opportunities be cut off for life.

I’m Kent Oyler, and that’s my Point of View.

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