Criminal Records Program

Please Note: Georgia Justice Project will not be accepting new applications for assistance with criminal records issues for the next few weeks.  During that time our staff will transition to a new application review process to serve our clients efficiently and ensure all clients receive the highest quality of legal representation.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

We will continue to host our First Fridays classes where you can get your questions answered about what can come off your Georgia record and how to do it.  Please email Katherine@GJP.org  or call (404) 827-0027, ext. 211 to reserve a spot for the next First Fridays class on July 7th

Also, we are still accepting applications from individuals who have pending criminal cases in Fulton and DeKalb Counties from 9:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Thursday.  Check back here for updates on when we will be accepting applications for our criminal records program again and what the new process will look like.

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.

Fast Facts:

  • 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.
 

Articles

National Institute of Justice Journal https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/238488.pdf