Too often, the collateral consequences people suffer from past criminal convictions are devastating and disproportionate to the underlying offense. These consequences can undermine public safety, holding back people now living law-abiding, productive lives from the stability of employment, housing and other opportunities. And these consequences are often unfair for they do not represent the people they are today.
The Sealing Unit encourages and facilitates applications to seal criminal convictions under CPL 160.59, the New York State statute that went into effect in October 2017. The Unit initiated a collaboration with the Office of Court Administration, prosecutors and defense attorneys, to create a user-friendly application so that individuals can apply for sealing on their own. The Unit also works with the DA’s Office of Public Engagement to spread the word in our communities, to encourage more applications and to help resolve them expeditiously.