City hosts expungement clinic and job fair
More than 250 people pre-registered for the event with walk-ins welcome
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s all about second chances, or maybe third or fourth chances.
Friday, the City of Lexington hosted the Lexington Clean Slate Expungement Clinic and Job Fair at the Central Bank Center, with 42 area employers and community partners advertising about 1,100 jobs available to help people get a new lease on life.
Zachary Goins says he was a registered nurse, but has been in addiction recovery for about a year. He says he has multiple drug charges dating back to 2015, and is hoping to get the expungement process started.
“Once you get in recovery, you know, the wreckage of your past, that seems to haunt you. And if I can come here and get some stuff expunged, not have things held against me, I can move forward, you know?” said Goins.
He says he wants to one day get back into nursing, but the job hunt has been a challenge.
“That’s what’s been my experience in the past, you get the job offer and then the background check comes back and then they have to go another way, so I’m finally getting to do something about it where it doesn’t haunt me anymore,” said Goins.
This is the city’s first time hosting an event like this, which provided resources for second chance education, jobs, housing, the opportunity to vote, and an expungement clinic with 40 volunteer lawyers on hand.
City Equity and Implementation Officer Tiffany Brown says registering to vote can help reduce recidivisim in many former convicted felons.
“That’s one opportunity that’s taken away from individuals with a felony charge…these people are now eligible to vote, which reduces recidivism and increases engagement in the community,” said Brown.
Brown says the expungement process can take anywhere from six weeks to six months depending on the charge.
The event was all for people with low-level criminal charges dating back at least 5 years. Brown says it’s about helping break stigmas around second chances.
“There are some people who have grown up in marginalized communities with disinvestment who may have had a criminal record. But it doesn’t mean that they’re not striving to be the best person that they can be for their family and collectively our community,” said Brown.
The city says more than 250 people pre-registered for the clinic, but walk-ins were accepted until 6PM Friday.