ALPENA, Mich. — Thousands of Northeast Michigan residents may be eligible to have their criminal records expunged under the Clean Slate Program. The initiative became law on April 11, but automatic expungements for eligible citizens will not begin for a few more years. The Clean Slate Pilot Program is a $4 million investment launched to offer stop-gap expungement services until automatic expungements go into effect, which is expected to happen in 2023. Michigan Works! agencies throughout Michigan will offer localized efforts to help those interested in applying for the program.
To serve the Northeast Michigan region, Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium has added Jason Secord to their team as their new Expungement Navigator. Jason will help applicants through the entire expungement process, working with them to determine eligibility, navigate the application process, and assist with document submission. Michigan Works! can also help applicants pay their legal and attorney fees for the expungement.
Setting aside a conviction, sometimes called expungement of criminal records, will remove a specific conviction from a public criminal record. If returning citizens get an order setting aside their conviction, they can legally state on any job or school application that they have never been convicted of or arrested for that 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.
With the new Clean Slate Program, individuals may be eligible to remove up to 3 felonies and unlimited misdemeanors from their record, including most traffic offenses and misdemeanor marijuana convictions. A minimum of a 5 year clean record is required, and some convictions, including most violent crimes, criminal sexual conduct, and alcohol-related driving offenses, will not be eligible for expungement.
“Before this legislation, just under 7% of eligible individuals pursued an expungement,” said Shamar Herron, executive director, Michigan Works! Southeast. “We know how important equitable access to expungements are for job seekers. According to a University of Michigan Study, after having a record expunged, job seekers obtained employment at an increase of 11% and their income rose by 25% in two years. Michigan Works! Agencies and the Clean Slate Pilot program will help job seekers overcome many barriers and guide them on a path to success, while providing support to area businesses by increasing the number of available workers, adding to the talent pool.”
Michiganders interested in setting aside past convictions should contact Jason Secord for more information at 989-306-7288 or email email@example.com.