Area organizations are joining forces to help those with a criminal record get a second chance.

According to a release, Prairie State Legal Services, Project Now and the Public Interest Law Initiative’s 14th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee are partnering to offer an expungement clinic in Rock Island County. Eligible individuals will meet with a pro bono attorney at the Clinic who will assist them with the expungement or sealing process. Expungement or sealing of criminal records is an effective way to improve employment, housing and educational opportunities for individuals facing barriers as a result of criminal records eligible to be expunged or sealed.

Kevin Hempy, Equal Justice Works Fellow with Prairie State Legal Services, said studies report that as many as one out of every three adults in Illinois has a criminal record. “These records create barriers to access employment, housing, and educational opportunities for individuals,” Hempy said. “Expungement and sealing is a way to remove those barriers and give folks a second chance at life. In the past year of doing this work, I have been amazed at the many collateral consequences that individuals with criminal records in Illinois face. Expungement and sealing is a proven way to eliminate many of these barriers and create new opportunities.”

The clinic will be held June 6, 2:00-7:00 p.m. at the Moline Public Library, located at 3210 41st St, Moline. Registration for the clinic is required, available here, or by calling (309) 283-3744. All legal services for the 2022 Expungement Clinic will be provided free of charge, but participants will need to meet certain income-eligibility requirements. Participants will need to provide the sponsor organizations with a copy of their Illinois Access and Review fingerprinting report prior to the Clinic.

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