A criminal record can create obstacles to employment, housing and education. The Criminal Records program helps to remove these obstacles.
No one else in Georgia is offering this much-needed service.
Most people come to GJP’s Criminal Records program seeking record restriction (expungement) because they cannot get a job, housing or otherwise move on with their life. The law on record restriction in Georgia has changed but is still one of the most restrictive in the country. Record restriction is permitted only when charges are dismissed or are not prosecuted, or the individual was convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses before they were 21 years old.
The first thing GJP does for its clients is review their criminal record.
Final dispositions are often missing from the official criminal history report produced by Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC), a division of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Although this is a nationwide problem, in Georgia we have found that approximately forty to fifty percent of dispositions are missing. If the client does not know what happened with the charge, we will track down the outcome. After obtaining missing dispositions, we send the information to GCIC with a letter requesting the agency to update the official criminal history. If restriction is an option, we ask the client to provide us with a certified copy of the final disposition of the case. We will then complete an application for record restriction and forward it to the appropriate agency.
Approximately 50% of our Criminal Records program clients are eligible to have a charge restricted. The cost of record restriction is generally $50 per charge (this includes $25 for the law enforcement agency and $25 for GCIC). When necessary, we assist the client by paying the fee.
Additional services we provide include record corrections, writing letters to potential employers or landlords explaining a person’s criminal history, providing job search referrals for clients, and advising on what must be reported to employers and how to discuss their criminal record.
- 40% of all Criminal Records program clients are female heads of household.
- According to the Legal Action Center, Georgia is the second-worst state in the country in the number of roadblocks to re-integration following an arrest or conviction.
- 3.8 million Georgians (over 1/3 of the state’s population) have a criminal record.
National Institute of Justice Journal https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/238488.pdf