According to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, between 1963 and 2012, more than 705,000 people were convicted of non-violent felonies. During the same period, there were 3.8 million non-violent misdemeanor convictions in Georgia.
On Saturday, August 11, 2018, there will be a Restorative Justice Expungement Summit. Organized by Fulton County Solicitor General Keith Gammage, the summit is for individuals arrested but not convicted of a misdemeanor from any law enforcement agency in Fulton County. The process to expunge a charge usually takes in excess of 150 days. Gammage says, now the process is expedited through the one-day event where eligible citizens will walk away with a clean record.
Tomorrow’s event is the second Record Restriction/Expungement Summit this year, being held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 1838 Metropolitan Parkway, in Atlanta. It’s in partnership with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Georgia Justice Project and other county stakeholders to provide opportunities for employment. A ‘Second Chance’ job fair, adult education classes and resume assistance will be offered to attendees.
Doug Ammar, Executive Director of Georgia Justice Project, says there are many citizens of Georgia who were convicted of minor misdemeanors and felonies when they were teenagers, and now 30 to 40 years later, they’re still being punished. The types of jobs and low wages they have to accept are their “punishment”.
“In January, 2018, our ‘Restorative Justice Freedom Summit’ assisted over 650 citizens in clearing non-violent, misdemeanor arrests from their criminal histories. With such a great need and the overwhelming citizen response, we will offer another opportunity for citizens to get a second chance at success,” says Gammage. “The start of a new school year is a great time to offer parents a ‘fresh start and second chance at success’ which benefits parents, students and entire households.”
“Restorative Justice demands thoughtful, innovative approaches to criminal justice reform. Our second Freedom Summit expungement event continues the mission of ‘jobs over jails’ by sweeping away old non-violent arrests and providing a second chance at success,” says Gammage. “Unions help beyond employer issues; we get involved with members’ down to earth personal problems. For things that happened 30 years ago, we are now giving people an opportunity to come back and make a decent living,” stated Edgar Fields, Vice President and Regional Director of RWDSU, Southeast Council.
While the event is open to the public, pre-registration is required. Those seeking more information can call the Expungement Hotline at (404) 612-4800.