(Photo by Flickr user Flazingo Photos, used under a Creative Commons license)
This Saturday, approximately 1,200 people will have their criminal records expunged or sealed at six locations across the city.
The workshops, an effort to help formerly convicted individuals avoid the negative stigmas their records carry, will be hosted by a squad of 175 volunteers from Philadelphia organizations and city agencies including the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, the Mayor’s Office, the Office of the District Attorney and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS).
As we reported back in September, the technology used to expedite the expungement process was developed by CLS employment lawyer Michael Hollander. Hollander and his Expungement Generator got a shoutout in this Inquirer story on the workshops, which also features reentry advocate and Redeemed founder Bill Cobb.
“It’s my position that expungements are antiquated,” Cobb told the paper. “Expungements and pardons used to help, but they no longer help because the information is out there. Someone can just type in a name and hit the enter button.”
Expungement won’t hide records from persistent deep-divers surfing Google, argued Cobb. So, if expungement won’t solve the problem of discrimination, what will?
Clean Slate laws that automatically clear arrests without convictions from a record. That bill will be discussed in Harrisburg next week.-30-
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