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$4 million investment goes to Clean Slate Pilot program to assist returning citizens with setting aside a conviction

Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity awards funds to Michigan Works! Agencies to support local expungement efforts
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In the coming months, returning citizens can get help with expunging eligible convictions from their criminal record to aid them in their pursuit of employment. The assistance is thanks to a $4M investment in the Clean Slate Pilot program from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

“My goal since day one of taking office has been to build fundamental reforms to make our communities safer and improve the people’s outcomes going through our criminal justice system. The bipartisan Clean Slate legislation fundamentally changed Michigan’s criminal history expungement laws, for the better,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The Clean Slate Pilot program offers a stop-gap for expungement services until automatic expungements go into effect. We’re excited to get to work. Soon Michiganders will be able to feel the real changes that will come about from this program.”

Setting aside a conviction will remove a specific conviction from a public criminal record. If returning citizens get an order setting aside a conviction, they can legally state on any job or school application that they have never been convicted of or arrested for the expunged crime. They will also be able to state that they have not been convicted of that crime on applications for public benefits, housing or employment.

A person who has been convicted may apply to have their convictions from the State set aside. Up to three felonies can be expunged if it is deemed appropriate. If there are multiple convictions for the same offense (with a max sentence of 10 years) only one can be expunged.

Unlimited misdemeanors may be expunged, although only two convictions for assaultive crimes may be considered whether they were misdemeanors or felonies. “One Bad Night” counts multiple convictions that occurred as part of the same transaction within 24 hours as one conviction.

There are convictions that are not eligible to be expunged. They are assaultive crimes, crimes involving the use or possession of a dangerous weapon, or a crime with a maximum penalty for 10 or more years’ imprisonment. An applicant may not have more than a total of two convictions for an assaultive crime set aside under the Act during his or her lifetime.

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