With Data, Naomi Maisel Helps Lay Career Foundations for People with Criminal Records
Naomi Maisel (pictured center) has helped grow First Step’s outreach and specialized the agency’s service partnerships based on the data and information collected about the needs of clients through analysis and community outreach.
For the Record: Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 3, Bettie Kirkland
Bettie Kirkland, the executive director of Project Return in Nashville, joins For the Record to discuss her organization’s work connecting hundreds of people who have criminal records to employment each year. (Kirkland pictured center, on-site at Project Return)
State Highlight - New Jersey Expands Juvenile, Adult Record Clearance Opportunities
Two new laws take effect in New Jersey this year that expand the scope of juvenile and adult record clearance and reduce the time people must wait to request it. The laws were passed by the New Jersey Legislature in late 2017.
Webinar: Empowering People with Criminal Records to Change Policy: A Legal Advocate’s Guide to Storytelling
This webinar features presenters who discuss the best ways to empower people who have criminal records to tell their stories and how to use these stories to advocate for policy change.
For the Record: Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 2, Esta Bigler
Esta Bigler, the director of the Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations School’s Labor and Employment Law program, joins For the Record to discuss her work regarding record clearance as a lawyer, which has ranged from creating educational programming to working on a groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case.
Get to Know the Expert: Margaret (Peggy) Stevenson
The CSG Justice Center staff spoke with Peggy Stevenson, the director of the San Jose State University Record Clearance Project in San Jose, California. Since 2008, RCP has trained undergraduate students to assist people with criminal records throughout the expungement process. (Peggy Stevenson: second row, far right)
Seeking New Perspective, Interview Series Gives Firsthand Look at Criminal Record Clearance Experiences
Khalil Cumberbatch, an associate vice president at the Fortune Society, joins the podcast to discuss his experiences living with a criminal record and receiving a gubernatorial pardon as well as his current efforts as a criminal justice reform advocate and his vision for the future of criminal record clearance.
Get to Know the Expert: Beth Johnson
CSG Justice Center staff spoke with Advisory Committee member Beth Johnson—Director of Legal Programs at Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago—about her thoughts on record clearance and her experience growing a small legal help desk into one of the leading record clearance programs in Illinois.
Get to Know the Expert: Michael Pinard
The CSG Justice Center staff spoke with board member Michael Pinard—the Francis and Harriet Iglehart Professor of Law and co-director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland (UM) Francis King Carey School of Law—about his thoughts on record clearance, drawing on his experiences as a public defender, professor, and co-founder of UM’s Reentry Clinic.
In the Media
Public Defenders to Help Some in King County Remove 'Scarlet Letter' of Criminal Conviction from their Record
There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of residents in King County who feel their lives are defined by their criminal pasts, but a new unit at the Office of Public Defense wants to change that by helping some of them vacate their old convictions and reclaim their lives.
Rap Sheets Haunt Former Inmates. California May Change That.
After spending more than seven years in prison for robbery and auto theft, Jay Jordan tried to get work selling insurance, real estate and used cars, but was repeatedly turned away, he said. People with a felony record are often barred from obtaining professional licenses, and an opportunity to be a barber at a friend’s shop fell through for the same reason.
Lawmakers Introduce Bill that Would Wipe Out Non-Violent Criminal Records for Low Level Offenses
There’s a lot of the debate in Colorado right now about abolishing the death penalty. Democrats will likely introduce a bill this month that would ban the death penalty on Monday. But there's another measure lawmakers are considering that would also reform the criminal justice system.
Criminal Records, Even Minor Ones, Mean Life of Obstacles, Report Says
Nearly 80 percent of Californians with even low-level criminal records struggle to find a job, locate housing or achieve other hallmarks of success despite having paid their full debt to society, according to a sweeping new report published Thursday.
City’s Lawyers Will Help Job Seekers Expunge Criminal Records at Upcoming WorkBaltimore Convention
The city’s Law Department plans to offer thousands of attendees at an upcoming employment convention downtown the chance to clear many types of arrests and convictions—or at least kick off the process of doing so—through an expungement clinic.
Louisville Organizations Mount Effort to Clear Criminal Records en Masse
More than a thousand people showed up to an expungement clinic hosted by the Louisville Urban League in February. About 300 of them made it inside. Those whose records were determined to be expungeable under Kentucky law had more than 1,900 cases total.
New SC Expungement Law Set to Give Offenders a Better Chance to Enter Workforce
A new law aims to make job searching easier for those who committed "low level" crimes. The law is an expansion of the former South Carolina expungement law, with the goal of bolstering the workforce in South Carolina.
Registration Underway for Oct. 6 Summit on Expunging, Sealing Records
Registration is now open for the third annual expungement and record-sealing summit in Champaign County. The Oct. 6 summit at Stone Creek Church in Urbana gives people a chance to clear their criminal record, with volunteer lawyers on hand and fees waived.
Criminal Convictions Behind Them, Few Have Had Their Records Sealed
Under the law, which went into effect in October, a person with a conviction that is at least 10 years old can apply to have their record sealed. An applicant cannot have more than two misdemeanor convictions or one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction. People with certain convictions, such as violent felonies and sex offenses, are not eligible.
Expungement Day: ‘I’m Not Going to Be Looked at as a Criminal’
Joseph Day walked into a building on the campus of Vermont Law School on Saturday morning as a convicted drug offender and left about an hour later well on his way to losing that label, and the consequences that come with it.
Vermonters To Expunge Old, Minor Marijuana Offenses From Records
At "Expungement Day" for misdemeanor marijuana offenses from Windsor and Chittenden County, Vermonters can have past convictions removed from their record— June 9 at Vermont Law School and June 12 at Costello Courthouse in Burlington Vermont
Stadelman Announces Chance to Expunge or Seal Criminal Records
Rockford - Senator Steve Stadelman along with Prairie State Legal Services and United Way of Rock River Valley want to help those who have past transgressions to make a stride in employment and helping them support themselves and their families.
Counties Offer Clean Slates for Second Chances
The Hamilton County Fresh Start Expungement Clinic (Fresh Start) operates out of the county’s Public Defender Office. Fresh Start began in October 2013 to provide county residents with assistance in sealing or expunging their criminal or juvenile records.
Hundreds of Louisvillians stand outside Roosevelt Perry Elementary School on West Broadway, the line wrapping around the building and snaking into the parking lot. They’re all here for the pilot clinic of the Reily Reentry Project, a program through the Louisville Urban League designed to help people expunge their criminal records.
California Could Make It Easier to Erase Your Old Marijuana Convictions
When California voters legalized recreational weed in 2016, they made the law retroactive, allowing residents to petition to overturn or reduce old convictions for possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
Michigan Set-Asides Found to Increase Wages and Reduce Recidivism
Preliminary results of an empirical study by two University of Michigan law professors show that setting aside an individual’s record of conviction is associated with “a significant increase in employment and average wages,” and with a low recidivism rate.
New Rio Grande Outreach Aims to Help People Clear Their Criminal Records
Salt Lake County is teaming with the state Departments of Workforce Services and Public Safety, Catholic Community Services of Utah, and a group of volunteer lawyers to help eligible candidates clean up, or expunge, their criminal records.
Nebraska Human Trafficking Bill Seeks to Help Survivors
Sex trafficking victims with a prostitution conviction could clear their criminal record under a bill Nebraska lawmakers will consider this year, the latest step in a larger effort to protect people who were coerced into prostitution.
Senate Criminal Reform Bill Addresses Juvenile Justice, Changing Age of Adulthood
Activists are applauding as a step in the right direction a package of juvenile justice provisions included in a comprehensive Massachusetts Senate proposal to reform the state’s criminal justice system, a sentiment not shared by a majority of the state’s district attorneys.