Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) joined Senators Anthony Palumbo, Tom O’Mara and Fred Akshar in raising concern about the so-called Clean Slate (S.1553A) and Office of Expungement (S.5518A) legislation. The bills, passed this week in the Senate Codes Committee, would erase criminal records from public view and provide no protections for victims or law-abiding residents.
“This legislation goes too far by sealing over 2-million criminal records in New York,” Senator Gallivan said. “It will make it impossible for schools, nursing homes and other businesses and organizations that serve vulnerable populations to obtain accurate background information on potential employees and volunteers. The bill is misguided and has the potential to threaten the safety of law-abiding citizens.”
In 2019, the Senate Majority passed a series of “reforms” to the state’s criminal justice policies, including cashless bail, discovery law changes and parole reforms. The enactment of these changes coincides with a rise in violent crime across the state.
Senator Gallivan and members of the Senate Minority have proposed a public protection plan as part of the Take Back New York Agenda, which includes:
Protecting Those Who Protect Us:
- Invest in law enforcement;
- Provide the support they need to make our communities safe and serve those in need; and
- Fight efforts to “Defund the Police.”
Rejecting Dangerous “Reforms” like Cashless Bail:
- End cashless bail, restore judicial discretion and reject proposals to erase criminal records;
- Require state agencies to be transparent about the effects of public safety policies; and
- Fix discovery and “speedy trial” laws that have turned our justice system into a revolving door for repeat and violent offenders.
Reforming the Broken Parole System:
- Re-center the Parole process around the protection and rights of crime victims and their families;
- Ensure that cop-killers, serial killers, child killers, and other dangerous murderers can NEVER be released; and
- Reject proposals to weaken the Parole System.
Passing a Victims’ Justice Agenda:
- Heighten penalties for violent and repeat offenders, as well as hate crimes;
- Invest in proven mental health, addiction, homeless, and victims’ programs & services; and
- Strengthen and make Kendra’s Law permanent, to ensure that those struggling with mental illness get the help they need.
This is also National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, recognized since 1981 under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. The week is dedicated to learn about victimization, and the effect it has on individuals, families, friends and the community, and to promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime.