Locals get criminal record expunged in order to get better jobs

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A criminal history costs millions of people jobs every year and, even after paying their debt to society, former inmates can still be paying the price years later.

Goodwill is working to help solve that problem for hundreds of Kentuckians.

“It’s still haunting me.” The words many people with a criminal record can relate to.

It’s Halloween season and haunting is part of the fun, but locally, the ghosts of a criminal history that are no longer relevant are being busted.

These ghost busters, Kentucky Legal Aid partnering with Goodwill of Kentucky, hosted a job fair and expungement clinic inside of the Sloane Convention Center helping locals get their record cleared.

This is an issue that impacts people all around you and with a staffing shortage across the nation, these workers are needed in the workforce.

Darleen Horton, the expungement programs manager, says this kind of service changes lives.

“You have housing opportunities that may not except you. You have employers that you might be qualified, you might have all the certifications, the degree, but unfortunately, because of the crime that you committed is something that is hovering over your head, it’s not allowing you anymore to be eligible for that position,” said Horton.

One local mom says she was recently denied a job because of a choice she made four years ago.

She says as a mother and caretaker, jobs that provide higher wages are necessary for her to take care of her little ones.

“This is perfect for me. That means we’re going to have a better life. Mommy can finally get her job that she’s been wanting and needing forever and now this will not hold me back from anything,” said Sarah Graham, a mother going through the expungement process.

Goodwill is a second chance employer and will hire people who have a record.

These clinics are just another way Goodwill is helping people get into the workforce.

“Your past should not define you and at the end of the day we are giving people the opportunity to erase some choices that they made to have a better lifestyle,” said Horton.

If you need a charge expunged, don’t worry. Goodwill has an online expungement clinic coming up in November.