Four-Part Special Series
Nearly 1,300 State Laws Prevent People with Criminal Records from Moving On After Serving Their Sentences
In Illinois, an estimated 3.3 million people have criminal records, which can include everything from an arrest to years spent in prison. But even after criminal cases have run their course, the punishment continues. The people who know the system best are working to make change for those looking to rebuild their lives.
Barriers to Employment Are Frequent, Plentiful for Those With Records
Many people who’ve been impacted by the criminal legal system say they frequently face problems finding employment. Some local organizations are helping people build new skills, while others are aiming to address laws and licensing requirements.
Sealed Records, Expungement and Clemency Involve Complicated Mix of Paperwork and Expenses
Though there are about 1,300 permanent punishments on the books in Illinois — and countless more that aren’t — there are only a handful of ways to get around them. Thar process often involves a complicated mix of paperwork and expenses. The records sealing or expungement process, for example, involves filing a petition in court that costs around $157 per charge.