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Free expungement, pardon clinic fills community need

Delaware Public Media

First State pardons have been on the rise in recent years. But the process to request a pardon – or even expungement – can be lengthy and complicated.

Delaware allocated resources to create a program called APEX in 2012.


Its goal – provide opportunities to individuals with criminal histories who wish to obtain gainful employment.


But a barrier standing between many of those individuals and a job is their record.


“When someone has their record cleared, it’s not just them getting their record cleared," said Dominique Truitt, New Castle County Coordinator for APEX’s pardons and expungements program.


"That’s the opportunity for them to get that job they’ve been waiting for, to get into that housing development, to start school," Truitt said.


Truitt leads a free two-hour clinic every Wednesday morning at the Wilmington Public Library, explaining who qualifies for expungements and pardons, as well as the paperwork and fees involved.


She also works with attendees one-on-one, and says the process can be emotional for both parties.


“A lot of times when we’re filling out the application and they have to talk about the offenses they had years ago and relive those moments, it’s like a therapy session for them," Truitt said.


But Truitt adds it’s rewarding – and worth the effort to help people achieve a fresh start.

The clinic is the only free resource provided by the state to help people clear their records in New Castle County.



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