TIME TO REVIEW CLEAN SLATE ACT
UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is supporting calls to review the Clean Slate Act 2004, saying it is too rigid in practice, and leaving too many people having old criminal records.
Mr Dunne says that the Clean Slate Act was designed to allow minor convictions to be wiped from a person’s record after seven years to enable them to get on with their lives.
However, he says he is aware of cases where people with comparatively minor offences from over 20 years ago (and no subsequent offending) still have these on their record because they involved a custodial sentence (no matter how small) or a drink drive conviction where licence cancellation, sometimes for as little as 12 months was involved.
“I do not think the law was intended for people like these, who have stayed out of trouble for often up to three times the seven-year time limit the Clean Slate Act requires.
“They now find their long distant past catching up with them when it comes to Police clearances for employment, which sends a pretty perverse signal about the benefits of turning one’s life around after criminal offending.
“I think the law the needs to be reviewed, with a view to introducing a provision that where a person was given a minor custodial sentence, and has not re-offended for a minimum of 10 years; the Clean Slate should apply.
A similar provision should apply in respect of drink drive convictions, provided the original offence did not involve injury or harm to any other person, ” he says.
Mr Dunne says he will be writing to the Justice Minister urging that the provisions of the Clean State Act be reviewed along these lines.