Expungement Initiative to Offer Citizens A Second Chance

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Northeast Delta Human Services Authority to offer ten clients in Lincoln Parish the opportunity to expunge a past crime from their record.

Northeast Delta Human Services Authority has announced a new initiative that will provide a limited number of qualifying clients who reside in Lincoln Parish the opportunity to pursue expungement with the aid of a professional attorney.

Expungement is a key component to breaking the cycle of recidivism in our community. For many individuals, a criminal record presents significant barriers to housing, employment and public benefits, which ultimately prevents them from reaching their full human potential.

“This initiative is designed to serve as a demonstration of one way that we can reach out to those who are actively seeking treatment and recovery and offer them a second chance,” said Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, executive director of Northeast Delta HSA. “Our goal is to create an opportunity for Lincoln Parish citizens who may have committed a crime under the influence of an addictive or mental health disorder to be meaningfully reintegrated back into society.”

The eligibility requirements for the initiative are as follows:

1) Any client who is currently connected to services through NEDHSA or has gone through the screening process to set an appointment with a NEDHSA clinic, AND

2) Has a criminal conviction or arrest for a misdemeanor or felony in Lincoln Parish.

“Every life has meaning and purpose beyond their criminal background,” said Attorney Kia Baldwin Richardson, Ruston, who is partnering with Northeast Delta for this initiative. “They have goals and dreams they want to fulfill, but their background check prevents employers and landlords from seeing the person they are today.”

Baldwin Richardson will be hosting an event to provide initial consultations for those interested in participating in the expungement initiative. This event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., at New Living Word Ministries, 1900 W. Barnett Springs Ave., Ruston, Louisiana. All clients attending the event are asked to bring a driver’s license or state-issued identification and, if possible, a copy of the court minutes showing their conviction.

“We must continue to innovate and remove obstacles from those who are committed to self-sufficiency and pursuing the American Dream,” said Sizer.

This expungement event is part of a larger workforce initiative by Northeast Delta that includes the LA-Re prison re-entry program and the Second Opportunity Workforce Solutions (SOWS) program.

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Desi Hammett
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority
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