PITTSBURGH (KDKA)–People looking for a second chance attended an expungement clinic in McKeesport on Saturday.
It was sponsored by the the Office of Public Defender and Pa. State Rep. Austin Davis.
Staff members, including attorneys, social workers, intake staff and investigators from the office volunteered their time to assist community members with expungement eligibility and petitions.
“Since elected to the State House, I have been fighting to reform our criminal justice system and ensure everyone has an opportunity for a second chance,” said Davis in a press release.
“This expungement clinic will help individuals who are seeking to clean up their criminal record, as well as navigate what can be a very confusing process. I appreciate County Executive Fitzgerald bringing this clinic to the Mon Valley and thank the Public Defender’s office staff for volunteering their time to help our residents.”
“Reports have shown that only 6% of people that are eligible for expungement actually apply for them, often because of the barriers – real or perceived – to applying,” said Fitzgerald in a statement.
“Project Reset, and the Expungement Clinics that the Public Defender’s office has been hosting, are having a substantial impact on lives. For residents to know that their criminal history is no longer going to impact their ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or pursue an education is significant.”
The Office of the Public Defender began providing expungement services to former clients last year.
The program was extended in August with the launch of Project Reset to assist all residents who have had cases filed in Allegheny County.
Since the program was announced in August, the Public Defender’s Office has filed 161 expungement motions with 110 of them granted and the remaining petitions pending before the Court. There have been no denials. Another 67 motions are in process.