People who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime can now get their arrest records sealed. (Courtesy photo)

People who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime can now get their arrest records sealed. (Courtesy photo)

Gov. Brown signs law sponsored by SF district attorney that allows arrest records to be sealed

People who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime can now get their arrest records sealed to help remove barriers to employment and housing under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this week.

The Consumer Arrest Record Equity, or CARE, Act, was sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and authored by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens.

It sets up a legal process for people to petition the court to have their arrest records sealed in cases that did not result in a conviction, and updates criminal records at both state and local levels to make sure sealed information is not disseminated.

While state law prohibits employers from asking an applicant about prior arrests that did not lead to convictions, many will not consider applicants with an arrest record. Current state law allows convictions to be expunged but is inconsistent about arrest records, Gascon said.

“Individuals who are arrested but never convicted often face more hurdles to employment and housing than those who are found guilty of a crime,” Gascon said in a statement, describing an arrest record as a “scarlet letter.”

“This is unjust and contradictory to the presumption of innocence that is enshrined in the United States Constitution.”

A 2012 study found that 69 percent of organizations use criminal background checks on all candidates and less than 60 percent of those allow candidates to explain negative results.

Studies have found that around 40 percent of men and 20 percent of women are arrested before the age of 23 but nearly half are never convicted. The problem disproportionately affects African-Americans, who while only 14 percent of the population make up 28 percent of all arrests.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto in a meeting with the Examiner editorial board on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New shelter-in-place order gives tenants a temporary reprieve from eviction

Sheriff’s Department resumed regular enforcement this week for the first time since March

Under stay-at-home orders effective today in San Francisco, outdoor dining is not allowed, and there are new limits regarding the number of people that can be indoors at essential businesses. <ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses

Regional stay-at-home order to take effect Sunday, sooner than statewide order announced Thursday

Former Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant received his 2017-18 Championship ring at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 16, 2018. Durant, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets, will play against his former team at Chase Center in February. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s (31) return from injury last week was key for the team’s offense. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
49ers fighting for final NFC wild-card spot in Monday’s game against the Bills

Bills at 49ers When: Monday, 5:15 p.m. Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale,… Continue reading

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

Most Read