CCRP 971     


Art. 971.  Legislative findings

The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1)  Louisiana law provides for the expungement of certain arrest and conviction records under limited circumstances.  Obtaining an expungement of these records allows for the removal of a record from public access but does not result in the destruction of the record.

(2)  An expunged record is confidential, but remains available for use by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, and other statutorily defined agencies.

(3)  Following the passage of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, all individuals who wish to work at ports or on vessels regulated by this Act are required to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).  Obtaining a TWIC card requires a criminal history check and clearance which cannot be obtained without either a clean record or an expunged record with respect to certain offenses.

(4)  The inability to obtain an expungement can prevent certain individuals from obtaining gainful employment.

(5)  The need for employment must be balanced appropriately against the desire for public safety.  Nothing in this Title shall be construed to limit or impair in any way the subsequent use of any expunged record of arrest or conviction in any lawful manner by law enforcement, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, or judges, including its use as a predicate offense or for the provisions of the Habitual Offender Law.

(6)  It is the intention of the legislature that this Title will provide opportunities to break the cycle of criminal recidivism, increase public safety, and assist the growing population of criminal offenders reentering the community to establish a self-sustaining life through opportunities in employment.

(7)  In balancing the legitimate needs of law enforcement agencies and the desire to afford employment opportunities to all Louisiana citizens, the Louisiana Legislature enacts the provisions of this Title within the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Acts 2014, No. 145, §1.