Access Barriers to Felony Expungement: The Case of Illinois

We are honored to have collaborated with the Collateral Consequences Resource Center (CCRC) on its latest project analyzing barriers to petition-based sealing and expungement of felonies in a number of different states.

In its 2020 report on national restoration of rights and record relief mechanisms, CCRC ranked Illinois first in the nation for its record relief laws and practices. Of note, Illinois currently has the most expansive sealing law in the country, extending eligibility to almost all felony convictions, including many violent and other serious offenses. Despite the state’s overall high ranking, individuals seeking to seal felony records in Illinois still face numerous obstacles. As part of our work with CCRC, we organized these obstacles into four barrier domains, noting their strengths and weaknesses, and making suggestions for improvement in each domain. Learn more about CCRC’s access barriers work and read our Illinois report here.

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