Expunge criminal records. Expand opportunities.

The Problem

Millions of adult Americans have criminal records.

They can follow people like shadows, appearing in job and housing applications even decades after the mistake. Expungement can help people escape the shadows and improve their lives. But in Michigan, only 6.5% of people who can get an expungement actually get one within five years of eligibility.

The Potential

A pathway to opportunity.

An expungement is an empowerment tool that helps people achieve self-sufficiency and stability by getting good jobs, housing, and many other life-changing opportunities.

The Plan

We’re making expungement’s promise a reality for Michiganders who already “did their time.” Here’s how we do it:

Build Awareness

Through a network of community partners, we will spread the word about expungement’s benefits.

Represent Clients

The legal process can be complex and expensive. We deliver free legal help to eligible, lower-income clients. And when we have the resources, we help pay for expenses like getting fingerprints and obtaining legal records.

Strengthen Our Community

Expungement helps people get good jobs and stable housing. Good jobs and stable housing strengthen communities. Strong communities benefit all of us and our local economy.

How You Can Get Involved

Getting an Expungement

Get a clean slate and fresh start. Learn how expungement works, how it could help you, and how to get help.

Volunteer Lawyers

With our training and support, you can use your skills to change lives.

Clean Slate Pathway is a project of Legal Aid of Western Michigan

LAWM and our community partners are building awareness about expungement and helping lower-income residents in Kent and 16 other West Michigan counties to move on from past mistakes.