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East Lansing showing how some with criminal records can move on in Michigan

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:41 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Wednesday night, one district court showed people how they can get rid of certain criminal records with the click of a mouse.

At a zoom meeting, local officials helped some people with a criminal record get new opportunities to work, and to survive.

Rep. Sarah Anthony said, “I’m not being dramatic when I say this will change the trajectory of generations to be able to have a clean slate.”

East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens said, “But really, these records follow people for a long time.”

East Lansing’s District Court and government officials have teamed up to help get people get their lives back on track. Mayor Stephens says this is a great opportunity for those who may have a non-violent crime on their record from getting things like a job to be able to move on.

“That’s for employment, that’s for housing and a number of other things that are really affecting these people in a bad way,” Stephens said. “The constant message is, ‘well you know, you just got to get folks to work. You got to get people back in this environment.’ But, the reality is they’re not able to. Yeah sure, somebody might have made a mistake at some point. But everybody makes mistakes at some point.”

Wiping a slate clean will help most get jobs. Unless that is they are trying to get into law enforcement.

And one expert says the expungement doesn’t necessarily mean the conviction goes away forever.

“What is an expungement? In Michigan, expungement is called a ‘set aside’ which means the records still exist and can be used by law enforcement but is not available to the general public,” said Joshua Hoe, a policy analyst for Safe and Just Michigan.

Workshops like this one are taking place across the state, and giving people the online tools they need to change their life.

East Lansing district court will hold the expungement clinic June 19th. It’ll cost about 100-dollars to get an expungement. You must have a copy of the conviction to apply.

If you need help navigating the web call Capital Area Michigan Works at (517) 492-5500.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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