Michigan’s new expungement laws offer second chance


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Supporters of Michigan’s recent expungement expansion say getting a criminal record cleared can help people gain housing, go to school, get better employment and lead otherwise fuller lives.

Julia Elkins and Adam Spence of Lansing, Mich., stand outside their new home with their daughter on April 23, 2021. Elkins and her fiance are among the hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents convicted of felonies who are seeking reprieves so they can have more opportunities. According to the Michigan attorney general, as many as 1 million people could be eligible for expungement under the new laws.(AP Photo/Anna Nichols)

A University of Michigan study in 2020 found that in the year after expungement, a person’s wages improve by about 23%.

But only 6.5% of people who meet the legal requirements for expungement in Michigan get their record cleared in the first five years of eligibility.

Project Clean Slate in Detroit is looking to fix that problem. The project provides free legal help to city residents interested in clearing their records.

In Grand Rapids, the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild hosted its annual expungement fair Saturday, a free event that helps people with prior drug convictions clear their records..

—WOODTV.com staff contributed to this report

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