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Expungement Fair Aimed at Forgiving Felons, Filling Jobs

An event this week in Bowling Green is aimed at giving past criminals a second chance while filling a few thousand job vacancies in the region. 

An expungement fair will be held Wednesday to help prospective workers with a criminal past wipe the slate clean.  The state legislature passed a bill last year allowing Kentuckians convicted of certain felonies, often drug offenses, to have their records expunged. 

Robert Boone heads the South Central Workforce Development Board and says a September screening event yielded 28 people considered work-ready.

"A lady came up to me and had tears in her eyes," Boone told WKU Public Radio.  "She said 'I'm now a mother and I volunteer in the community, but this mistake I made in my past has been weighing on me for years,' and she felt that it was on the way to being removed and was very thankful for that."

Wednesday’s expungement fair will take place at the Warren County Justice Center from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 pm.  Attorneys will be on hand to answer questions about the expungement process and assist with paperwork.  

Anyone with a past criminal record is encouraged to attend.  Boone says for those who don’t qualify for expungement, there are still employers who will hire convicted felons. 

Last month, there were more than 5,000 job openings in the ten counties that make up the Barren River Area Development District in south central Kentucky.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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