Sealing the Deal for a N.E.W. Beginning
Across the United States, Americans with convictions on their records will get an opportunity to participate in National Expungement Week (N.E.W.) in hopes of legal relief. As convictions can impact access to housing, employment, education, public assistance, and voting rights in some states, the chance to have their records sealed can be helpful for one attempt at a normal life. Cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, College Park, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Haven, Philadelphia, SanFrancisco, and Washington, DCare all taking part in this initiative.
When your record is expunged, most often your record becomes unavailable through the state and Federal repositories. This makes it easier to navigate employment applications and other screenings that ask and search for a history during a criminal background check.
For some records; however, like violent crimes, sex offenses, and other serious crimes, expungement is not an option.
The weeklong event which will include Detroit will be October 20-27, 2018. The event is slated to be available to some 77million Americans with convictions on their records. Though the process for expungement varies by state, the need to provide residents in Detroit with this kind of relief is optimal.
According to sources, N.E.W.events will provide wraparound services to help restore peoples’ rights and lift communities.
Locally, Detroit’s Marygrove College will be participating in N.E.W. by offering free expungement and resume workshops on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from10am to 5pm. On-site will be experienced lawyers to help attendees with pre-expungement, expungement and work readiness skills.
Because convictions may not represent a person’s true character, every opportunity to help people realize a better life should be afforded to create better communities and strengthened families. With black people and their families disproportionately suffering the consequences of low-level convictions, the call for action, to help marginalized communities handicapped bylaws, policing and implicit bias that convict them far more than their white counterparts, legal relief is essential. In light of this, expungement seems like the best way to reparative justice.
N.E.W. was birthed out of the International Drug Policy Reform Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2017 with an effort to offer innovative criminal justice reforms and drug policy reform amid racial injustice. It is the hope that this project will seek to help individuals clear their records in an effort to ease the barriers that comes with being a reentering citizen or having a conviction on their record.
For Detroiters, to take advantage of this opportunity, residents can pre-register at http://www.expungementmi.com to better prepare. As a note, while applicants often need to bring valid identification, it is helpful to check with local organizers for exactly what to bring. This event marks a change in paradigm to help lift people out of conditions that have otherwise kept them crippled by giving the resources that help to remove, seal, or reclassify eligible convictions from criminal records.