Nearly 200 people at the expungement one year anniversary
BATON ROUGE- It was a busy day at City Hall. People lined up hoping to get their past convictions wiped cleaned from their records at the one year anniversary of the Expungement Screening event.
“If they can help me, I want my record clean. I know I made a mistake and you know God gave you another chance so it looks like the world should give you another chance,” said Beverly Martin.
She is one out of the 200 people waiting to be seen by a public defender. Seven years ago, she was convicted of a drug charge. Since then, finding a job feels impossible.
“When I heard about the expungement program I said I have to get on this because I need a job. I am ready to work,” said Martin.
Even if the charges are dismissed, misdemeanors and felonies still appear on background checks for employers.
Shanda Gorman, a convicted felon says instead of getting expunged, maybe employers should be more considerate.
“So I think the senators and the government need to target the jobs, they need to hire convicted felons, because we have a family as well,” said Gorman.
Today, nearly 200 people tried to get their records clean, but only about 60 were processed, leaving Martin and others to wait until the next expungement event.
“They do not have any space for us today, we are going to get a green card telling us when to come back, and I think it's going to be six months,” said Martin.
About 50 people will have to wait until October.
“Now we have so many people with rain checks, that we are actually about six months out,” said Public Defender Michael Mitchell.
The wait time is painful for Martin, but she remains hopeful.
“I am just going to pick myself up now, and just keep on applying, they might give me a chance,” said Martin.
Michael Mitchell is stunned about the screening’s growth.
“We are surprised at the number of people that are in Baton Rouge that actually need this assistance,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell also says there is a quicker way to get expunged. To find out how you can call the EBR District's Attorney's office at 225-389-3400 or visit their website at www.ebrda.org.