The Center for American Progress, the National Employment Law Project, and Community Legal Services have launched a three-year, multistate initiative to remove barriers to economic opportunity for Americans with criminal records and their families. The initiative comes at a time when one in three Americans now have some type of criminal record, and nearly half of U.S. children have at least one parent with a record, according to an analysis by the National Employment Project.

The initiative, announced Tuesday, will focus on two issues — clean slate automatic record sealing, similar to an effort underway in Pennsylvania, and changing regulations for occupational licensing.

"Record-sealing is one of the most powerful tools for removing barriers to employment and more," Sharon Dietrich, litigation director at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, said in a statement. "The heart of clean slate is the automatic sealing of minor records once a person has proven their rehabilitation by remaining crime-free for a set period of time."