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Expungement clinic in Muskegon Saturday chance at a fresh start for some

Expungement clinic could give those with a criminal conviction a fresh start
Expungement clinic could give those with a criminal conviction a fresh start

New law passed in 2021 allows certain criminal records to be wiped clean

Some convicted felons will have the opportunity to get their criminal records wiped clean this weekend, as the City of Muskegon is hosting an expungement clinic on Saturday.

Hosted by the city of Muskegon and Gaining Unity through Non-Violent Solutions, (GUNS,) and funded by the Muskegon Social Equity Program, officials say the expungement clinic in Muskegon Heights Saturday is the chance for many at a fresh start.

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, “hundreds of thousands” of Michiganders qualify for getting their criminal convictions removed from their permanent record, after lawmakers in 2021 passed the Clean Slate Act that expanded the types of crimes that could be expunged; however, murder and criminal sexual conduct are not included on that list.

Janet Robinson is the co-founder of Gaining Unity through Non-Violent Solutions, and one of the event’s organizers. She says, for so many, one bad choice can have lifelong repercussions. And the expungement clinic is a way to change that.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come, sit down with somebody, somebody that is there to help, because they care,” Robinson said. “They try to make it better for those individuals, who may have had that one bad night, now they are maturing, and need to get past it; to get that opportunity to get a better job, a better house, (or) be able to do things at their kids’ school.”

The fair will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 10 at 95 W. Broadway Avenue in Muskegon Heights. Lawyers and volunteers will be hand to assist. The clinic is free.