John Rubin, a UNC School of Government professor, said some criminal charges that people have accrued in their past can be detrimental to a job search.
“Even minor criminal offenses that are on record can shadow a person if they look for work, look for housing, look for other opportunities,” Rubin said.
The process of the expunction of records begins with the filing of a petition with a court, he said.
“It can be a little complicated to figure out whether a person’s eligible, and to navigate getting that petition filed and granted — so having the clinic to assist people is very valuable,” Rubin said.
The Wake County District Attorney’s Office and Justice Served of North Carolina organized a clinic in Raleigh this week to help expunge parts of criminal records.
Many people who get their records expunged will continue to be productive citizens and will not commit any more crimes, said Diana Powell, executive director and CEO of Justice Served of North Carolina.
“Some of them did stuff when they were very young — made some bad choices, were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
Powell said many of the individuals are now older and more mature than when they committed their crime, and many of them have families.