According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch web site: “An expunction is a legal process to remove a criminal conviction or a criminal charge from a person’s record and to seal or destroy the state’s records of the arrest, charge, and/or conviction.” The site goes on to point out: “Expunction and expungement mean the same thing. North Carolina’s expunction statutes use both terms interchangeably.”

For our 7th annual National Day of Civic Hacking, Code for Asheville will join other Code for America brigades across the county to help people begin the process to clear their criminal records.   Why allow an expunction?

As discussed in a recent NPR article and broadcast: “With background checks ubiquitous for jobs, schools, mortgage applications and more, even one conviction — and sometimes even just one arrest — can dog people for years, critics say, relegating them to permanent second-class status.”

“No one should underestimate how much even the most minor of misdemeanor convictions — including marijuana or trespassing or any kind of conviction — can affect someone’s ability to get a job, to get housing and to function fully in society,” says Roberts, who also co-directs the Criminal Justice Clinic at American University in Washington, D.C.

“Our goal,” says Code for Asheville’s Melanie Mazanec, “is to create a journey map that can be useful to local legal partners, people going through the expunction process, and advocates.  We also hope to share this work with other brigades in North Carolina and the national network, so that advocates may compare experiences.”

We invite you to join us! This Saturday, September 21st, 10am to 1pm at Asheville Unitarian Congregation, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville.