Flint, MI– With new “Clean Slate” legislation going into effect over the weekend, various community groups set out to educate the public on what this means for them.

Through the Illuminating Community Change project, the Hamilton Community Health Network is partnering with various organizations and attorneys to host an Expungement Fair on Saturday, April 10. 

It is a free, educational event to inform the community about new Michigan legislation going into effect on April 11, that will remove several barriers to expungement, and help residents set aside their criminal records and get a “clean slate.” 

The legislation, which can be viewed here, would expand the number and types of felonies and misdemeanors that are eligible to be set aside, and address traffic and marijuana offenses. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Clean Slate” bill package into law in October of last year.

Leon EL-Alamin, founder of the M.A.D.E. Institute which helps formerly incarcerated individuals with their reentry into society, said that this legislation will be a “game changer” for people. 

“This will open doors and opportunities for nonviolent individuals impacted by weed, which we know is now legal, and people with nonviolent cases facing barriers to housing, and employment opportunities,” Alamin said. 

He said many formerly incarcerated individuals were already disadvantaged, and that being impacted by the criminal justice system disadvantaged them even further. Alamin said getting expungements done can be difficult and costly, but having a criminal record creates barriers to opportunities for people. 

Expanding access to expungements will help returning citizens find housing, employment, and start businesses, Alamin said. 

“It’s really gonna help push us in that direction of more opportunities,” he said.  

The expungement fair will be held in the parking lot of the former Dukette school at 500 W. Pierson Rd, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...