Clean Slate Act could mean a new beginning for ex-convict from the Bronx
A Bronx man is among many New York residents hoping the Clean Slate Act will seal his past criminal record.
The Clean Slate Act aims to seal the criminal records of individuals who have already served their time, apart from convictions like sexual assault and murder.
Proponents of the bill say it will help families access better jobs and housing.
Bronx resident Terrel Hall served 16 years for drug sales back in 1999. He tells News 12 his convictions made life difficult even after he served time.
“Things were hard. I was going through a separation at the time, and I needed housing. It was hard for me to get my own place since I had the prior conviction,” he said. "I was 20 years old when I went in, and I'm 45 now. I’m a totally different person now."
Due to his conviction, Hall says he missed out on his dream job in California. He also missed out on major events like graduations, holidays and his daughters’ birthdays.
“Now being released, there's still hindrances. I still can’t go to Florida. When I first came out, my job wasn't paying enough for me to do anything,” he said.
While he is still trying to heal with his family, Hall says he has accomplished many things since being released from prison.
"I got my community health degree from Hostos Community College and a bunch of certifications,” he said.
Hall remains hopeful that the Clean Slate Act will help him continue to make progress.
The Clean Slate Act is awaiting the signature of Gov. Kathy Hochul. Once it is signed, New York will be the 11th state to pass similar legislation.