HB 373: Reducing Criminal Offenses After Conviction
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Living with a criminal record is like having a scarlet letter attached to your name, impacting major life decisions every step of the way. Every job, student loan, or housing application will be potentially negatively impacted, hurting chances of upward mobility and success — even for those who haven’t recidivated by committing a new crime and aren’t a community safety risk but rather just trying to live a normal, crime-free life with some slip-ups in their past.
Representative Jordan Teuscher is sponsoring House Bill 373 in order to allow courts to lower criminal offenses for individuals who have successfully completed parole. This means that after the conviction, and after the individual has proven good behavior to the courts, their criminal penalty on their record will be lowered. Current law allows for Utah courts to lower an individual’s criminal conviction if they’ve successfully completed probation, already. But this bill would add parole to the list as well, making it more consistent to reach both community supervision programs condoned under Utah law.
Libertas supports this bill because it creates another incentive to get a person on parole to comply with their conditions and complete the program. And as a reward, the individual will benefit from a lower criminal penalty on their record. This is a win-win situation for public safety and the individual defendant.