GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Studies show that 95% of people with convictions will live with the barriers that come with them for the rest of their lives because of the difficulty of getting their records cleared, according to the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild.
The group is hosting a clinic in Grand Rapids this weekend to try and help people get low-level crimes expunged.
This is the first time the city of Grand Rapids is taking part in National Expungement Week, which is a time when advocates focus on restoring the rights of those who have been convicted with low-level crimes.
These convictions can restrict access to housing, employment and voting rights long after sentences have been served.
The expungement clinic will take place from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at 121 Franklin Street SW in Grand Rapids.
Pre-registration is required, and organizers are also asking those who come to wear masks and social distance. Roughly 270 people have signed up already.
Officials say especially during COVID-19 they just want to help people get back on their feet.
“It’s important to know because when you’re looking for jobs and things in a pandemic. We’re right in the epicenter and the height where unemployment is,” said Denavvia Mojet, the executive director of the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild. “We’ve decided to make sure we pivot yet again, not just to move forward like it didn’t happen, but to give people the resources they need to make an intelligent decision for them and their family.”
Registration for the expungement clinic can be found online.