Evanston Public Library to host free clinic on how to clear criminal records

Robin Opsahl, Assistant City Editor

The Evanston Public Library will host a free record-cleaning clinic March 19 in partnership with the city and the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy.

The clinic is focused on how and why to clear criminal records. No records will be expunged during the clinic, but attendees will be provided with the resources to clear their records, including a presentation on records relief and having staff attorneys and volunteers available for individual assistance.

Joi-Anissa Russell, director of strategic partnerships for the Moran Center said many do not know the effect of having a criminal record on employment, education and housing options.

“People don’t realize that any and all involvement with police or courts will remain on their record until they take action to clear it,” Russell said in a news release.

Not all records can be expunged, but there are still ways to remedy a criminal record, like obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which lifts limits on employment because of a criminal history.

“Even if an individual has a felony record that cannot be expunged or sealed, there may be other avenues to minimize the negative impact of the criminal record,” Kathy Lyons, executive director of the Moran Center said in the release.

The clinic will be hosted from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in EPL’s Community Meeting Room.

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