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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62673 Find in a Library
Title: SEALING AND EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS - AVOIDING THE INEVITABLE SOCIAL STIGMA
Journal: NEBRASKA LAW REVIEW  Volume:58  Issue:4  Dated:(1979)  Pages:1087-1122
Author(s): L S BUETHE
Corporate Author: University of Nebraska
College of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68508
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROBLEMS OF DATA COLLECTION AND PRIVACY WHICH EXPUNGEMENT AND SEALING SHOULD SOLVE ARE EXPLORED WITH EMPHASIS ON THE JUDICIAL RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEMS AND THE APPROACHES TAKEN BY STATE LEGISLATURES.
Abstract: IN RESPONSE TO THE INCREASINGLY COMPUTERIZED SOCIETY AND THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INFORMATION COLLECTED CONCERNING INDIVIDUALS' CONTACTS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, STATUTES HAVE BEEN ENACTED REQUIRING THE DESTRUCTION (EXPUNGEMENT) OR SEALING OF CRIMINAL RECORDS FROM PUBLIC INSPECTION. THE OVERWHELMING IMPACT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS. ESPECIALLY AGAINST PERSONS NOT CONVICTED OF CRIMES, REQUIRES THAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS DEMONSTRATE SPECIFIC NEEDS FOR SUCH RECORDS AND PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST ABUSE. ALTHOUGH A PAST CRIMINAL RECORD MAY BE USEFUL AS AN INVESTIGATIVE TOOL TO INDICATE THE MODI OPERANDI OF CONVICTED CRIMINALS, POLICE FILES OF NAMES OF MERE SUSPECTS COULD CREATE UNDUE HARDSHIP FOR PERSONS SEEKING EMPLOYEMENT AND SCHOOLING. BECAUSE OF THE WIDESPREAD DISSEMINATION OF POLICE INFORMATION, APPLICANTS FOR JOBS AND PUBLIC LICENSES CONFRONT UNDUE DIFFICULTY. TO A LIMITED EXTENT, TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AFFORDS SOME RELIEF BY PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND NOT CONVICTED. IN GRANTING RELIEF TO INNOCENT VICTIMS OF MASS ARRESTS, THE COURTS HAVE ORDERED THE EXPUNGEMENT OF ARREST RECORDS AND THE RETURN OR DESTRUCTION OF POLICE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ARRESTEES. FAILURE TO EXPUNGE AN INNOCENT PERSON'S RECORD VIOLATES CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT OF PRIVACY AND DUE PROCESS. VARIOUS STATE LAWS PROVIDE FOR THE CORRECTION OF RECORDS, BUT SUCH LAWS HAVE BEEN HAPHAZARD. IMPROVED PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY IS LONG OVERDUE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Arrest records; Confidential records access; Expungement or sealing of records; Legal privacy protection; Police records; Records management; Right of privacy
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62673

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