(KUTV) — More than 1,000 people got their criminal records erased during an event Friday in Salt Lake County.
Those who submitted their applications for expungement this past summer were issued certificates by the Bureau of Criminal Identification, approving their eligibility.
“A criminal record creates many barriers for individuals, including an inability to access housing, employment and educational opportunities,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson stated in a press release. “The road to self-reliance and independence is often blocked by past crimes that show up in routine background and credit checks. As a county, we need to help individuals move past the stain of a criminal record.”
The expungement process defines who is and who is not eligible to clear their court records. The event hosted Friday was designed to help former offenders who can't afford expungement costs, a press release stated.
A total of 100 volunteer attorneys were at the event to help individuals complete the process of filing out paperwork.
Volunteers also helped nearly 249 people who were placed on a waiting list and have appointments to get the expungement process started, a press release stated.
“Our criminal justice system is based on the notion of rehabilitation," Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill stated in a press release. "On the premise that when you pay your debt to society, that we welcome you back into our community to be an equal partner and an equal contributor to the success of our society. Expungement Day is us delivering on that promise."
The event started at 9:30 and end at 1:30 p.m.