LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Trying to get your life back on track while having a criminal history is hard for most and nearly impossible for some. One clinic is helping make that transition easier and giving legal aid to boot.
Hundreds of people spent their Saturday at Roosevelt Perry Elementary School braving the rain. Some had transportation, some didn't, but all came for the Reily Reentry Project Expungement Clinic.
"I want to move up in my job so the best way to do that was to get these charges off my record. I've had past experiences where I wasn't able to get a job because of my past," said Courtney Robinson.
The clinic helps those seeking to expunge their criminal records by connecting eligible participants with attorneys and providing additional services and resources along the way.
Getting your record up to date is a lot more complicated than it sounds. There are forms upon forms to complete. Plus, filing those forms and using a lawyer to help file them costs money. The program helps cover all related fees through donations and grants.
"There are people who really want to move on and they can't and we want them to. We want them to be engaged citizens who feel like they are invested in the success of us all and the success of the commonwealth," said Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of Louisville Urban League.
In Kentucky, if your record isn't expunged, it's hard to get a job with benefits or purchase a house.
"Kentucky's laws are the harshest in disallowing rights of citizenship to people with criminal records," said Lousiville Urban League Board Member Steven Reily.
While the free clinic is greatly helping people's lives, the Urban League reiterates that to have the largest impact, Kentucky's policy needs to change.
Saturday's clinic was made possible in part by AT&T's "Believe Louisville" initiative. To date, the program has served more than 1,000 people. To learn more and register for future clinics, click here.
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