The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday evening hosted its first Second Chance Workshop, a free event dedicated to assisting community members in expunging criminal records and restoring suspended driver’s licenses.
Nearly 200 people received assistance during the workshop at the Marion County Public Health Department Building. Deputy prosecutors, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic partners and volunteer private attorneys helped onsite.
“The hopeful stories shared with us during the Second Chance Workshop illustrated a commitment to step past old mistakes and become the parent, employee, and neighbor we all want to have in our community,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry stated. “For those with this commitment, it is a privilege to help remove obstacles that would challenge their ability to secure employment and housing and provide for their families.”
During the event, 14 individuals seeking early expungement of convictions and arrests were granted consent from the prosecutor’s office by its discretion permitted under Indiana law. An additional 30 individuals seeking expungements in 61 criminal cases ranging from felony drug convictions to driving with a suspended license will not hear an objection from the prosecutor’s office if the court waives their unpaid fines and fees.
Other attendees were informed of the eligibility requirements and, if eligible, started the process to complete pro se filings with assistance by the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Expungement Help Desk.
More than 200 traffic tickets were dismissed, and 82 traffic tickets were reduced under agreements whereby people would make payments on one or more remaining tickets. More than $10,000 in unpaid traffic ticket revenue is expected to be collected by the county per those agreements, the prosecutor’s office stated.
Additionally, nine noncustodial parents received reinstated driver’s licenses following significant unpaid child support obligations. Hundreds of other individuals were referred to related services and free and local resources. Information was also provided on housing, voting rights, and re-entry services.
“If an individual has stayed out of the criminal justice system, then why should they continue to have that stigma forever?” Curry stated.