Rockford… State Representative John M. Cabello (R-Machesney Park) passed legislation this past spring to provide non-violent offenders the opportunity to regain entry into the workforce. Today, the Governor signed that legislation (HB 3149) into law.
“This is a step in the right direction,” said Rep. Cabello. “The legislation will grant non-violent offenders the opportunity to petition to the courts to seal their records if they have successfully completed the educational requirements. However, a judge will make the final decision as to whether the petitioner is worthy of approval.”
House Bill 3149 allows an offender who earned a high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational technical certificate, bachelor’s degree, or a GED, during the period of his or her sentence, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised release, to petition the courts to seal their record immediately upon completion of the requirements.
“The recidivism rate in this country and right here in Rockford is unacceptable. How can we expect these offenders to not fall back into criminal activities after they are released if no one will hire them because of their record? This incentive gives hope and direction to those willing to change their lives for the better,” added Rep. Cabello.
The law does not allow for an offender to utilize the opportunity if they have completed the same educational goal previously. If the offender’s petition for sealing is denied, then the applicable waiting period under the sealing law shall apply to any subsequent petition for sealing by the offender.