Kalamazoo public defender holds expungement clinic

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Long lines formed in Kalamazoo Friday afternoon as people gathered to get help expunging criminal convictions from their records.

The city attorney’s office, the public defender’s office, the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, KDPS and the county courts partnered to hold an expungement clinic at the Northside Association for Community Development on North Park Street.

The Foundation for Excellence covered the $50 fee for city residents and the courts provided free records checks.

People with more than one felony and certain types of convictions were not able to apply.

“It was fairly recently upgraded so that it’s a little easier, but it’s still quite strict,” Kalamazoo Chief Public Defender Donna Innes said. “Certainly people need that opportunity to have criminal records that are old taken off their records so that they’re eligible for jobs, housing, lots of different benefits.”

Organizers plan to hold similar events every three months and weekly walk-in clinics will soon launch at the public defender’s office on S. Rose Street.

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