The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office hosted a workshop about expungement and record sealing at the Gandara Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts. According to its website, the center helps promote “the well-being of Hispanics, African Americans, and other culturally diverse populations through innovative culturally competent behavioral health, prevention, and education services.” By providing these workshops, the office intends to train local staff members, so they can provide counselling to the community.
The seminar was held for the employees who work directly with the substance abuse and recovery counseling services. Because criminal history can hurt a person’s employment prospects, it is helpful for the community to learn about what things can be legally withheld from their history. The workshop presents information about the types of offenses that can be expunged or sealed and how it works.
Considering most people may not know about expungements of DUI records and what goes into it (see https://www.duiblog.com/2017/03/08/can-i-expunge-a-california-dui-conviction/), this seems like something that would help communities everywhere.
Numerous DA offices around southern California make rounds in their local communities, disseminating information about procedures and advice. They travel all over, including those of low income and high diversity areas. By doing this, they help teach the community how to try and turn a blip in their criminal record around. Maybe even local criminal defense lawyers could join in and offer free seminars of a similar nature. Perhaps these efforts could get the word out that all hope is not lost.