Clerk Dorothy Brown Assists More than 500 attendees at Full-Day Expungement Summit in Cicero, June 10
Release Date: Monday, June 12, 2017
CHICAGO - Honorable Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and an array of judicial, governmental, legal, community and religious organizations and agencies, welcomed more than 500 attendees to the 13th Annual Second Chance Adult and Juvenile Expungement Summit and Job Information Seminar at Unity Junior High School, 2115 S. 54th Ave., Cicero, IL, on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The attendees were all assisted in filing petitions for expungement or sealing or learning what their options are for handling past court records.
Guest speaker Ms. Maryana Rojas, who is now a chef and catering manager, spoke to the summit attendees about how expunging her past record helped her turn her life around and how important it is for people to seize this opportunity provided by Clerk Brown.
“The Expungement Summit is an opportunity for individuals who qualify to expunge their court records; a second chance for them to be law-abiding, productive members of society,” said Clerk Brown. “We are attempting to remove as many impediments as possible for people who are attempting to better themselves and their families’ quality of life.”
The Expungement Summit opened with a morning presentation featuring speakers from various stakeholder agencies involved in expungement/sealing and clemency processes, including the Cook County State’s Attorney, Chicago Police Department, Illinois Prisoner Review, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the Illinois Attorney General, Safer Foundation and the Cook County Public Defender.
At the summit, volunteer attorneys helped prepare applications for the filing of petitions that qualify for expungement and sealing. Representatives from the Cook County Public Defender and Cabrini Green Legal Aid also assisted attendees with legal concerns. Cook County judges held hearings on site for indigent petitioners seeking to get fees waived.
Individuals who did not qualify for expungement attended counseling sessions with members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to learn about Certificates of Good Conduct and Relief from Disabilities, as well as how to prepare letters for clemency and/or pardons from the governor.
A host of other agencies provided information on employment, job training, health care, housing, voter registration and other services for ex-offenders. The Summit’s Second Chance Job Information Seminar featured workshops on how to get educational training, resume writing, interviewing and computer skill building with presentations by representatives from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Office of the Cook County President, RTW Veterans Center, Brothers Standing Together and the Safer Foundation.