NEW YORK – NY National Expungement Week (N.E.W.) 2019, a grassroots campaign to reintegrate those disenfranchised by the war on drugs through record clearing/sealing, and access to services, has more than doubled the impact and reach of its inaugural 2018 events as documented in the N.E.W. 2019 Impact Report released today.
N.E.W. 2019, which took place on September 21-28, 2019, put 652 people on the path to expunging or sealing records, which is up from the 298 who accessed legal relief the previous year. In addition, 750 people have cleared or reduced legal fines and fees, and over 3,000 have received wraparound social services such as voter registration, job support, health screenings, etc., outpacing 2018’s total of 400. Although N.E.W. 2019 events generated a public benefit of $7,143,964, organizers continue to push for reforms such as automatic expungements, expansion of eligibility for record clearance, and a general uniformity and streamlining of the expungement process.
“While we are encouraged by the growth of National Expungement Week, it only demonstrates the need for deeper reforms of the record clearing process at the state and federal levels. We will continue to fight for those reforms while providing direct services to justice-impacted communities,” said Torie Marshall, Director of Cage-Free Repair, which leads the coordination of N.E.W.
Since 2018, N.E.W. has been leading the national conversation regarding the socioeconomic benefits of expungement and the need for changes to the current system that varies from state to state and is rife with economic and logistical barriers. N.E.W. 2019 featured 44 events in over 30 U.S. cities, and also partnered with Code for America (CFA), resulting in dozens of additional events and collaborations at events across the country.
N.E.W. 2019 was made possible by Presenting Sponsors Houseplant, the cannabis brand from actor/producer Seth Rogen, who also filmed a popular PSA on behalf of N.E.W., and Canopy Growth Corporation, Contributing Sponsor Caliva, Non-Profit Partners Code for America, Rock the Vote, and Equity First Alliance, and dozens of local sponsors, partners and community-based organizations dedicated to repairing harms of the War on Drugs. In 2020, N.E.W. aims to increase the number of participating states to 50 and is exploring opportunities to create a global movement by expanding into Canada.
About National Expungement Week
National Expungement Week (N.E.W.) is a week of events across the U.S. that offers expungement and other forms of legal relief to some of the 77 million Americans with convictions on their records. These convictions can restrict access to housing, employment, education, public assistance, and voting rights long after sentences have been served. N.E.W. events will offer as many wraparound services as possible to restore people’s rights and lift up communities. N.E.W 2020 will take place from September 19-26, 2020. For more information, please visit www.offtherecord.us