Ending Perpetual Punishment in New York State
Creative + Strategy, Media Buying + Planning
From employment, to housing, to higher education, people with conviction histories are far too often locked out of opportunities that will help them live safe and stable lives. A conviction history becomes another life sentence, a state of perpetual punishment—one that disproportionately affects low income black and brown New Yorkers, due to a history of discriminatory over-policing and over-prosecution.
The Clean Slate NY campaign is fighting for a new law (S211/A1029) that will automatically clear 2.5 million affected New Yorkers’ conviction records once they become eligible. Automatic sealing is fundamental to addressing the issues of over-policing, excessive prosecution, and racial injustice in our criminal legal system in order to reducing the systemic barriers that disproportionately impact low income individuals of color. Using iconic New York colors, active textures and the uplifting and symbolic imagery of hands, we aimed to highlight the urgency to end perpetual punishment and empower the 2.3 million New Yorkers with previous conviction records with the Clean Slate Act.
The campaign targeted changemakers in Albany with a billboard located near the exit to the state capitol, as well as geotargeted digital ads to legislators at the capitol. Messaging highlighted the need to end perpetual punishment, as well as economic benefits of the bill that everyone can get behind, to allow all New Yorkers to contribute to our economy and society.
The Clean Slate Act (S7551A/A1029C) was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in November 2023. After implementation, millions of New York families now have the opportunity to thrive as past conviction records begin to seal.