Akron residents who want to clear past crimes from their records - crimes that affect their employability - can begin the process at a public meeting April 20, 7:00 p.m., at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Meeting Room 3, 55 South Main St.
Aviva Wilcher, director of the Akron Criminal Expungement Program, and volunteer University of Akron law school students will be on hand to explain the expungement process and help citizens begin the application process. The Criminal Expungement Program is a joint undertaking of the city of Akron and The University of Akron School of Law Legal Clinic. City Council provided $10,000 to fund the program, which has been astonishingly successful since it was announced in February.
"We've taken hundreds of phone calls about the program since we announced it," said Wilcher. "We've processed more than 100 applicants already and had eight successful hearings with 10 more scheduled and many more to file. So many citizens have come forward that we are trying to slow the process down so we don't overburden the court system."
Clear Channel Outdoor is donating a 14' x 48' bulletin billboard on Copley Road to raise awareness of the program. After four weeks at that location, the posting will move to other locations around the city, said Clear Channel Public Affairs Director Dave Yale. Each four-week posting is valued at $3,000.
Expungement is a legal process that seals the public record of a court conviction. Many misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for expungement. Convictions that are not eligible include crimes with a mandatory prison term, offenses of violence and any crime where the victim was a minor under the age of 18 years old.
To be eligible for representation through the Criminal Expungement Program, a citizen must be an Akron resident for at least one year and meet certain income requirements. For more information on eligibility and services, citizens may call the Legal Clinic 330-972-7751.