Criminal Records and Expungement Advocacy
The Council’s expungement services are currently guided by several issues: 1. A great lack of information and a great amount of misinformation exists about criminal records and the ability of people to have them sealed. 2. Current laws greatly limit the expungement remedy. 3. The community resources available to help people with expungement and living with criminal records are very limited.
The Council is therefore making a multi-pronged effort to address these issues:
Education: Council staff are holding Criminal Records Education Seminars and reaching out to other community organizations to provide accurate and current information about criminal records and expungement. The Council is also working to create a one-stop online resource for individuals and organizations to get this same information.
Policy: The Council’s direct work with individuals with records, and our ex-offender volunteers, will inform our continuing state and local policy change efforts to reduce the barriers created by criminal records.
Community Capacity-Building: The Council has formed a partnership with Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN), a Hennepin County Non-profit organization whose mission is to advise and represent economically disadvantaged people with legal problems through volunteer attorneys. Individuals who meet the VLN and Council Guidelines will be offered expungement assistance and possibly legal representation. VLN will handle all intake for the Councils’ Criminal Records Educational Seminars and the VLN/Council expungement workshop staffed by the Council and volunteers. The Council will also continue to advocate for increased community and government services for individuals with criminal records.
The Council on Crime and Justice and the Volunteer Lawyers Network provide monthly seminars for persons with records in Hennepin County, and Hennepin County residents who have records in Ramsey County. To hear more about these free informational seminars, please call our Expungement Seminar Information line at (612) 353-3024.
The following links provide legal forms for expungements in Minnesota as well as information on reentry issues facing the ex-offender:
Upcoming Volunteer Advocate Trainings:
Tuesday, May 7th: 5-9pm
Thursday, May 9th: 5-9pm
Monday, May 13th: 5-9pm
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