Hundreds line up to get their records expunged for free at Southern University
BATON ROUGE - Pens and copy machines were busy Friday at the Southern University Law Center as students worked their way through stacks of paperwork to clear offenses from criminal records.
"Generally most of the charges that we see are misdemeanor charges. Non-violent felony charges," said coordinator Alycia Grace Obear.
Arna Ray Selvage was one of close to 100 people in line to get his record expunged after he was convicted of many charges over the years. He says he wants a fresh start.
"It helps you to let people know that you are no longer committing crimes and that you are trying to clean yourself up and trying to get your life together," Selvage said.
Selvage served a seven-year prison sentence and has a lengthy criminal record that includes armed robbery, arson, and drug charges. He says finding a job has been tough and Obear agrees.
"it's very difficult to find an employer who gets a background and they see things on people's record that may, in some way, be perceived to be an indicator of their character," Obear said.
On top of Selvage getting his record expunged, paying for it is another problem.
"They want to charge me $4,500 to expunge my record," Selvage said.
However, today's service was free. The law center will host another event in a few weeks.
"That's going to assist people who have been hindered in this process because of monetary restrictions," Obear said.
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