First Expungement Day took place in Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County was home to the first Expungement Day, a service effort to help people clear their past criminal records. (Photo: KUTV)
Salt Lake County was home to the first Expungement Day, a service effort to help people clear their past criminal records. (Photo: KUTV)<p></p>
Salt Lake County was home to the first Expungement Day, a service effort to help people clear their past criminal records. (Photo: KUTV)<p></p>

(KUTV) — Salt Lake County was home to the first Expungement Day, a service effort to help people clear their past criminal records.

Expungement is a legal process set forth in Utah law. It defines who is, and who is not eligible to clear their court records.

Application for expungement must be submitted to the Utah Department of Public Safety and filed with the court. Legal costs and fees can put the process out of reach for many low-wage workers.

The event Thursday took place at Catholic Community Services with volunteers from the Utah State Bar that assisted dozens of eligible individuals with required paperwork to clear their court records for free.

“Although very few of these individuals are from the Operation Rio Grande population, what we learned from that effort is that arrests, assessments, behavioral health treatment and temporary housing can be all for naught if people can’t move beyond the stain of a criminal record. That record is a red flag to many landlords and a way to screen out employees in a competitive job market,” said Mayor Ben McAdams in a press release. “The road to self-reliance and independence is often blocked by past criminal histories that show up in routine background and credit checks.”

Salt Lake County, the Utah Department of Workforce Services, the Department of Public Safety, Catholic Community Services, Salt Lake City Justice Court participated in the event at St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall near the Road Home Shelter. The partnering agencies helped individuals by appointment as well as served walk-ins.

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