Reentry Issues and Older Adults: How can we help?

Recently, I sat in a seminar to learn more about a topic I am not familiar with. Quite frankly, I had never given this topic any thought until now. In this seminar, I learned about the wide range of issues that older adults face as they transition from incarceration back into society. In addition to dealing with the stigma attached to having a criminal record, the formerly incarcerated have to start from scratch, some in communities they are not familiar with, or have no connection. From access to housing, health care, Medicaid, Medicare, and social security benefits, as well as access to employment, these are some of the barriers that keep the formerly incarcerated from successfully reintegrating into society.

Criminal Record Sealing:
Sealing a criminal record is a way for a formerly incarcerated individual to start fresh in the outside world after serving their sentence. Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 179.245, a person may petition the court in which the person was convicted to seal their record pertaining to their conviction. While the sealing of a criminal record does not restore an individual’s right to bear arms, the effect of a sealed record is that the proceedings in the record are deemed never to have occurred. Thus, when the person whose record is sealed is asked about any arrests or convictions, for example, in a job application, the individual is entitled to respond in the negative. (NRS 179.285). It should be noted that not all categories of crimes may be sealed, see NRS 179.245(6) for the type of crimes not eligible for sealing.

If you, or anyone you know needs assistance with the sealing of a criminal record, contact Nevada Legal Services for more information.

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