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Impact of Criminal Record Sealing on State and National Estimates of Offenders and Their Offending Careers

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2019
32 pages

This report examines the extent to which statistical estimates of offender populations, criminal careers, and recidivism rates are impacted by the sealing of criminal records. The paper focuses on New York state, which has some of the nation’s most extensive record-sealing policies. The report highlights the need to understand state-specific criminal history recording and reporting practices when calculating national estimates of offending patterns and performing cross-jurisdictional comparisons. Data are from BJS’s Adult Criminal Trajectories of Juvenile Offenders Project, which tracked the criminal history patterns of persons arrested at age 16 or 17 in New York in 2001 for a 10-year period.

Date Published: February 14, 2019