April is Second Chance Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the collateral consequences of a criminal record and advancing efforts that promote fairness and access to opportunity for people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system.

This year, during North Carolina’s 2024 legislative session, our project will be actively advocating for four Second Chance bills. These bills address crucial issues like debt-based driver’s license suspensions, the unregulated use of mugshots, and the automatic expungement of certain criminal charges.

Here’s a brief overview of the bills we’ll be focusing on, please follow the links to contact your lawmaker and show your support:

House Bill 888: This bill eliminates the practice of suspending licenses for unpaid fines or missed court dates in North Carolina. This would remove a significant barrier that impedes individuals’ access to work, education, healthcare, and other essential services;

Senate Bill 565: This bill will reinstate automatic expungement for certain criminal charges that were dismissed or resulted in a “not guilty” verdict. Automatic expungement is a crucial step towards ensuring that individuals are not unnecessarily burdened by the stigma of past charges that did not result in conviction.

House Bill 778: This bill will regulate companies who publish mugshots for profit6, like the Slammer, use of mugshots. HB778 prevents law enforcement from knowingly disseminating mugshots to publish-for-profit companies and requires companies to remove and destroy mugshots after the charge has   resulted in not guilty, dismissal, or expungement.

Senate Bill 339: This bill will reduce mandatory suspensions for moving violations during a period of suspension and end certain permanent suspensions. This will provide individuals with a pathway to regain their driving privileges and reintegrate into society.

Your support is instrumental in our efforts to advance these important initiatives.  We invite you to join us on April 30, 2024, to advocate for the passage of these bills during Second Chance Lobby Day.

Second Chance Lobby Day is a time for all who believe in second chances to come together to speak to our NC lawmakers about the criminal justice and reentry issues that are impacting our communities. We gather to collectively share our stories and speak to senators and representatives about changes that should be made to NC laws to remove barriers to meaningful opportunity  for individuals with criminal records.

Register for Lobby Day