Nearly one in three Philadelphia residents has a criminal record. Many of these people were never found guilty of a major wrongdoing, but often that doesn’t make a difference. Just having “a record” is enough to make you ineligible for employment, education, housing and public assistance.
• Infographic addresses reentry in Philadelphia
• Inside a Philly criminal record expungement clinic
• Van Jones’s “We Rise Tour” visits Philadelphia
• Infusing journalism with solutions
Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: August 4, 2017
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Volunteers and lawyers help residents clear their records for a shot at better jobs and housing. Sterling Scott arrived at St. Mark’s Church in Frankford with the same goal as his peers: to start the process of getting his criminal record expunged. “My daughter, she attacked me and I wound up macing her,” Scott, 63, said.
The United States was founded on the restoration of rights, and Americans have historically taken pride in the civil liberties and individual freedoms we offer the people who live here. But the country hasn’t always done a great job of making sure people know how their rights can protect them.
When it comes to how poor people are treated at work, Sharon Dietrich gets mad. “I’m mad on a daily basis,” said Dietrich, 55, litigation director and managing attorney of the employment law practice at Community Legal Services. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer
Important information if you have a criminal record. Effective November 14, people with certain misdemeanor convictions can ask the court to seal their records. The sealed record will only be available to law enforcement officers, and, if your record is sealed, you can truthfully tell a prospective employer that you have no criminal record.