Some arrest records could be kept private at judges' discretion

Jan 5, 2012

Proposed legislation in Michigan would let some people keep their arrest record private --  if they go into a diversion program.

The state Senate is considering a package of bills that would let a judge decide whether certain court records would be closed to the public.

"If someone is picked up for substance abuse, domestic violence or parental kidnapping, there are diversion programs to change somebody's life," says Rick Jones, a co-sponsor of the measures.

Jones says someone with an arrest record could have a harder time getting into a university and getting or keeping a job.

He says such a law would save taxpayers a lot of money by keeping people out of jail.

The bills have bipartisan sponsorship.