Charleston School of Law students are hosting a September 15 workshop to help people learn how to clear criminal records and learn life skills to become successful.
The expungement workshop hosted by the Keith J. Williams Chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at the Charleston School of Law is part of the Lowcountry Life Empowerment Conference scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at Burke High School in downtown Charleston. Community leaders who will share knowledge include Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, S.C. Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, Charleston City Council member Keith Waring, and North Charleston City Council member Mike Brown.
“Indigent South Carolinians, unable to afford expungement to clear their records, are faced often with increased difficulties in finding gainful employment, housing, and reclaiming their civil liberties,” said Kerry L. Shipman, president of the law school’s BLSA chapter.
Also expected to participate on Sept. 15 are high school and middle school students who will take part in a Youth Empowerment Session led by members of Alpha Phi Alpha. Topics discussed will involve local youth, voters’ rights, education, police interactions, employment, community relations, entrepreneurship, and homeownership.
“Fees associated with expungements are a major barrier for many otherwise qualified expungement applicants,” Shipman said. “For individuals that lack financial resources, a youthful indiscretion or a moment of bad judgment permanently alters their life’s trajectory. The social consequences of an arrest or citation, much less a criminal conviction, are tremendous. Even an individual who has charges dropped may be subject to a degree of social ostracism and a de facto public finding of guilt.”
Expungement fees are established by South Carolina law: $250 to the Solicitor’s Office, $25 to SLED, and $35 to the Clerk of Court.
HOW TO DONATE:
Members of the community can help offset expungement fees by donating to the law school’s BLSA chapter. To sponsor a candidate for expungement, donate $310.00 at http://donations.kjwblsa.org or mail checks to: Charleston School of Law, Attn: BLSA, P.O. Box 535, Charleston, SC 29402.