Movement to Expunge Criminal Records Arises in Black America

“To get a barbering license, a license to be a cosmetologist, a license to be a plumber or electrician in this state, you can’t have a criminal record,” says U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who plans to hold expungement summits in each of his district’s 23 counties.

The first three, in July, were held in Jackson, Greenwood and Greenville — in churches, a setting that Thompson found fitting.

“For those of us who attend church regularly, a common theme that you hear from ministers is he who is without sin should cast the first stone,” Thompson says. “All of us have done wrong at some point in our lifetime, but we were blessed in some instances not to have been caught.”

Newhouse News Service