Research clearly shows that after 5 years, criminal history has little or no value in determining a persons likelihood of re-offending. Criminal records should be sealed completely after 5 years and it should be illegal to use or disclose any other persons' criminal record older than 5 years.

Why is this idea important?

The current use of criminal records continues to punish people long after they have completed their sentence and actively prevents efforts for reintegrate into the community. Research clearly shows that after 5 years, criminal history has little or no value in determining a persons likelihood of re-offending, yet the community continues to harass and denigrate any person with a criminal record. This is against international law, constitutional law and common sense. It seems ironic that the state is prepared to break the law in order to continue punishing a person for previously breaking the law.  Criminal records should only be recorded at a judges order (not automatically), should be sealed completely after 5 years and it should be illegal to use or disclose any other persons’ criminal record older than 5 years. This would allow people who have offended and paid their price to the community to get on with their lives and build a better community for us all.

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