People Change: Why Clean Slate Matters

America has 5% of the world’s total population but 25% of the world’s prisoners. 65 million people have a criminal record in the United States. Having a criminal conviction can trigger over 900 civil barriers including barriers to employment, housing and education.

At our July 12th Clean Slate Clinic we set up a camera and asked formerly incarcerated people to share their stories. This is what they told us.

People Change from SCSJ on Vimeo.

People Change, but their record stays with them forever.

Without legal representation, all of the people in this video will be haunted by their charges for the rest of their lives. And a criminal record doesn’t just hurt a person’s access to employment and housing – in many cases people even lose their driver’s licenses as a result of a conviction. When people no longer have access to housing, jobs, or even transportation it is difficult to see how they can put food on the table for themselves and their families. Charity is helpful, but it only goes so far. What really helps is access to free Clean Slate services from organizations like SCSJ. Donate today to provide a second chance for a person with a criminal record.

Give a Second Chance. Because People Change.

Every day SCSJ receives requests for Clean Slate assistance from people throughout North Carolina. At the present, we have over 600 individuals hoping to receve Clean Slate services from us. Every client is provided free legal servives, but those servies are not free for SCSJ to provide. In addition to staff time there are fees for client background checks, court filings, and travel. An SCSJ attorney must travel to the county where a person was charged to file for relief, and again to appear before a judge to formally request that relief. All told, each client’s case costs SCSJ an average of $500. Your financial support provides second chances. Please consider a monthly donation to support SCSJ’s Clean Slate Work. Give a second chance today. Because people change. And everyone deserves a second chance.
Video by SCSJ Troan Intern Evey Wilson.