What are expungements, and why do they matter?

Louisiana incarcerates more people than any other state in the country and more people than anywhere else in the world. Even an arrest that the District Attorney declines to prosecute will create a criminal record. Criminal records are often the basis for denying employment, even if the job at hand is unrelated to a previous arrest. Expungements seal records of the accused, but does not destroy them. The value of expungements for people arrested is in their ability to find work afterwards based on a perceived criminal history.

(Video and description by the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.)