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Monday, March 4, 2024

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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Criminal Record Expungement Clinics Benefit 1 Million+ in CA

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023   

One year ago, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 731, a law that allows more than a million Californians to clear many old felony convictions from their records. Now, expungement clinics across the state are helping speed that process along. A clinic this Friday in San Francisco will help people start the paperwork to petition a judge.

Will Matthews, is spokesperson for the nonprofit Californians for Safety and Justice, which is co-sponsoring the event.

"If you're a registered sex-offense offender, you're ineligible," he said. "But almost every other condition is eligible now to be sealed, as long as you have gone two years without any further contact with the justice system after fully completing your sentence."

Old convictions have thousands of consequences and can prevent people from renting an apartment, getting a job, applying for certain professional licenses, attending a child's field trip, and much more. Many legal aid groups offer help with record sealing, including the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Area Regional Re-entry Partnership, and Inland Counties Legal Services.

Saun Hough, partnerships manager with Californians for Safety and Justice, said helping people move on with their lives is a matter of public safety.

"So any time you have a population that is being locked out from the opportunity for economic empowerment, or from housing, or from pursuing the career of their choice, then what you're going to see is this destabilization of communities," Hough said.

The so-called Clean Slate law also allows the California Department of Justice to automatically seal certain arrests and misdemeanor and non-violent felonies.

Disclosure: Californians for Safety and Justice contributes to our fund for reporting on Criminal Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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