Law \ Legal

Detroiters Seeking Clean Records Stuck in Expungement Limbo 


While more people are eligible for criminal record expungement through an application process created under expungement legislation dubbed the Clean Slate Act, which took effect in April 2021, high demand, technology hurdles and court backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in waiting periods of about six months to a year, and sometimes longer, reports the Detroit Free Press. The city estimates about 168,000 Detroiters are now eligible for expungement, all of whom are subject to the court system’s timeline, which varies from court to court.

More than 15,500 Detroiters have applied for help with the expungement process through Project Clean Slate since January 2021, with fewer than 2,000 of them remaining on a waitlist. Prior to the new expungement laws, only 6.5 percent of people eligible for expungement obtained a clean slate within five years of eligibility.

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