Home>Articles>Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Allow Millions of Convicts’ Criminal Arrest Records Sealed

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Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Allow Millions of Convicts’ Criminal Arrest Records Sealed

Interesting timing as Gov. Newsom is also allowing 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, to leave prison

By Katy Grimes, September 30, 2022 10:50 am

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday to allow the criminal arrest records of convicted criminals sealed from potential employers, schools, charitable organizations and the public.

According to SB 731 author Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), “Due to the widespread usage of background checks in today’s society, the availability of these records activate thousands of barriers for one quarter of the state’s population resulting in chronic housing insecurities, long-term unemployment, and widespread lack of civic participation.”

This is interesting timing as Gov. Newsom has also been authorizing the release of thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals from prisons – so many that Susanville state prison was recently closed.

The Associated Press reported in May 2021:

California is giving 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, the opportunity to leave prison earlier as the state aims to further trim the population of what once was the nation’s largest state correctional system.

More than 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes will be eligible for good behavior credits that shorten their sentences by one-third instead of the one-fifth that had been in place since 2017. That includes nearly 20,000 inmates who are serving life sentences with the possibility of parole.

Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen, who once headed the state parole board, criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration for unilaterally deciding to make the changes.

It makes sense that California is home to the nation’s largest state correctional system as the state is also home to the largest population in the country – nearly 40 million state residents.

AB 731 provides that the Attorney General’s California Department of Justice will be reviewing the records in the statewide criminal databases and identify persons with criminal records eligible for the sealed records.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California opposed the bill stating:

Current law authorizes a defendant who was sentenced to a county jail for the commission of a felony and who has met specified criteria to petition to withdraw their plea of guilty or nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty after the completion of their sentence. Current law requires the court to dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and release them from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense, except as specified. This bill would make this relief available to a defendant who has been convicted of any felony.

PORAC believes that by expanding the relief of penalties for all felonies, we are placing our communities at risk. Oftentimes, felony crimes are violent and leave behind innocent victims whose lives will never be the same. By allowing violent criminals back on the street, with their record dismissed, they will have less deterrent to commit another crime. Thus, leaving more victims in their wake.

Was anyone listening?

SB 731 will not won’t apply to anyone convicted of murder, kidnap or rape. It also will not interfere with felonies requiring a sex offender to register on the state database.

The bill was passed along party lines, and signed into law by the governor who is letting 76,000 convicted criminals out of prison.

As the AP reported, “Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation that represents crime victims, said the notion that the credits are for good behavior is a misnomer.”

“You don’t have to be good to get good time credits. People who lose good time credits for misconduct get them back, they don’t stay gone,” he said. “They could be a useful device for managing the population if they had more teeth in them. But they don’t. They’re in reality just a giveaway.”

SB 731 was sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice “supported by a group of philanthropic foundations dedicated to replacing over-incarceration with new safety priorities, including Ford Foundation, Fund for Nonviolence, Open Society Foundations, Public Welfare Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The Butler Family Fund” – all part of the de-incarceration “reform” movement, which ignores the victims of the crimes.

Many of these progressive groups are funded by liberal billionaire George Soros (Open Society Foundations) – Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, Californians for Safety and Justice, and Prosecutors Alliance of California—support defunding police departments, declining to prosecute most criminals, and seeking the shortest possible sentences for those who are prosecuted.

“Californians for Safety and Justice was a major supporter of California’s Proposition 47, The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, which has left drug dealers, addicts, and thieves in communities to commit smash and grab robberies and violent attacks, including murders,” according to the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

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24 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Allow Millions of Convicts’ Criminal Arrest Records Sealed

    1. And Governor “Young Global Leader” Newsom is dutifully fulfilling his responsibilities to Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum and/or George $oro$ in his nationwide campaign to bring criminal chaos to the United States in the hope of destabilizing it from within so that the globalist “Build Back Better” Communist culture can be instituted in the United States…

  1. Well, and this is grim, but hopefully the massive increase in violent crime that is sure to escalate (even more) in the next few years will finally wake enough voters up to vote the evil and corrupt thugs who run the state out of office. But, sadly, I am not holding my breath on this one. Might be better to just leave the state and let it devolve into the lawless hellhole it is becoming.

    1. No, we are determined to STAY AND FIGHT, (peacefully, of course) – we will not cede ground and OUR STATE to these lawless Communist Democrats….

    2. Here’s the problem with the way the majority of the comments i have read first there has to be a significant amount of time passed without any re offences or new cases. If a person has paid the price for what they have done and has not committed any other crimes, why is it so “stupid” or “irresponsible” for that person to be given the chance to start over and become eligible for jobs that previously have been unavailable due to past mistakes? While some have seen this bill as an inevitable encouragement of criminal activity, I see it as a way for these people to have a chance to actually reintegrate fully back into society without the brick walls of old past transgressions causing them to have to constantly be rejected by occupations that not only can give them an ability to actually provide for themselves as well as their families, but elevate the necessity of reverting back to old behavior due to insufficient income to provide what is needed to survive. Jobs that are available for felons don’t typically provide a good rate of pay. Lastly some of these people have skills that they are not able to utilize due to these same restrictions, changing their lives should come with the ability to acquire a job that reflects their accomplishment and allow for advancement should the met the positions requirements. If they are willing to do the work it takes to acquire the position why cant it be seen as a positive thing that they are willing and qualified to be considered for it without their past getting in the way.

  2. Gov Gav and the CA mega-majority Dem legislature’s fetish for criminals will result in exponential increase in victims of crime. Well, it already has, now there will be more — many, many more. The ONE thing that our govt is charged with is to protect public safety, and just look at what they have done. These people have been giving the raspberries to public safety for a long time now in unbelievable and dramatic ways. Horrific and high profile criminal acts —- the kind we used to rarely see —- are happening not just daily, but often several times a day. We’re becoming overwhelmed by it. Hard to believe the constant bombardment that makes us less and less safe by the day is not purposeful, right?
    Forget about trying to get your friends and family to stop voting Dem; it’s a waste of time. They see a (D) and the ‘virtue signaling’ zombie inside of them takes over. Instead, make sure your sensible Repub and Independent friends and family make the effort to VOTE in November. That won’t be a waste of time.

  3. Something is mentally wrong with Democrats. You have to be mentally ill, if not sadistic, to vote for something like this. How many employees are going to be put at risk for physical harm by this law?

    1. Probably ZERO! This new law ONLY APPLIES TO OLD CONVICTIONS. It does NOT apply to sex offenses (regardless of age of the offense!). The criminal offense has to have been judicially DISMISSED by the court the case was held in front of! This is NOT a 100% “erasure” of ALL previous criminal offenses!

      1. SUDCCIV, give me a break. The bill does not say this. I read the entire bill. Whitewashing a destructive bill does not make it any better.

        “Commencing July 1, 2023, and subject to an appropriation in the annual Budget Act, on a monthly basis, the Department of Justice shall review the records in the statewide criminal justice databases, and based on information in the state summary criminal history repository and the Supervised Release File, shall identify persons with convictions that meet the criteria set forth in subparagraph (B) and are eligible for automatic conviction record relief.”

        I get so sick of leftists lying. They know what they are doing is wrong, and they have lie about it to cover their tracks. Leftists are pathetic.

        Armed robbery, assault, threats, felony hit and run, burglary. That’s right companies. Go hire a bunch of thieves, and see how that works out.

        This is an example of no common sense.

  4. We need advanced notice on these types of bills, not reporting after the fact. We can’t fight this insanity, if we don’t know about it.

    1. There was “advance notice”-its called the LEGISLATIVE PROCESS! You can sign up (FOR FREE!) to track ANY AND ALL PIECES OF LEGISLATION YOU WANT in the CA state legislature! You can track, stalk, and have reported INTO YOUR E-MAIL, the movement and language changes of EACH BILL YOU SUBSCRIBE TO! Go to: “leginfo.legislature.ca.gov” for the details. You missed out for the 2021-22 legislation, but can sign-up in DECEMBER when the 2023-24 legislature goes into session!

  5. If your going to have rehabilitation why not make a way for people to get jobs. It doesn’t make sense to let people out and be denied a job because of a background. I’m scared of the people that haven’t been caught and these thug children that are reckless. It’s not these old hags getting out it’s these children with absolutely no guidance

  6. Fun Fact: In CA, getting a previous conviction “dismissed/expunged” DOES NOT ERASE IT FROM A PERSON’S “RAP SHEET” (known as a “CII Record” at the CA DOJ!). I hope SB 731 will allow for the PHYSICAL ERASURE OF these “dismissed” convictions (especially when they may have occurred 15-20 years ago, and NOT repeated themselves!). The current “conviction dismissal” system is VERY MIS-LEADING! I hope SB 731 will bring some fairness to getting OLD CONVICTIONS REMOVED OFF A PERSON’S “RAP SHEET”!

  7. My Name is Javier Meneses CDCR#F-55965 unlike a lot of people who think all of us are just low life’s I’ve been in prison since 2005 till 2021 I’m really glad this bill has passed now I have a real chance at doing things right I have a job but while in pirson I had finished lots of trades that were of no youse to me in the free world because of my back round now I feel I can be given a fair chance at providing for my family and giving back to society I’ve made mistakes more than once and not blaming anyone but I’ve been clean for fore years I have a wife and five children who love and depend on me to be here there so many people who are always quick to say thing they truly don’t understand because they don’t come from where we come from yet I don’t judge you just pray you help others and not yourself we’re all human thank you and God bless

  8. thanks Gavin.. now all those BLM and Antifa offenders and violent protestors. can rest assured that their future is secured, and will never face the consequences for their actions.

  9. You would be amazed at how many “thieves” are already hired and just havent been caught yet. Including law enforcement committing white collar crime lol. Hows that working out???

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