National Expungement Week: Re-Entry, Repair, Healing



by Veronica Castillo

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

Last week was National Expungement Week: Sept 19- Sept 26, and it was the third annual week of awareness to the 77 million Americans with criminal records.  Though awareness is highlighted with events, clinics, workshops, and food pantries during this week, founder of National Expungement Week- Latorie Marshall says:

Our year-round work never stops, and we are determined to use this week to inspire communities to take action, clear records, and restore the rights of some of the 77 million justice-impacted people in the U.S”.

National Expungement Week, also known as N.E.W, is led by people of color, supported by Cage-Free Repair, and working within the community through a group of grassroots community organizers and advocates. We need them! I often write about the injustice within the system and how those injustices target certain groups. 

N.E.W steps in and fights for the people by way of offering relief clinics and leading discussions and healing sessions that provide access, relief, equity and opportunity, to the communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. Not just Cannabis, but the War on Drugs as a whole:

We advocate for automated expungement of all records, the de-escalation of police enforcement, and investment in marginalized communities.”

Thank goodness for this organization and the others that consistently fight for the rights of those targeted and impacted by the War on Drugs. A war that led to the creation of an agency that has caused more harm than good. I’m speaking of the D.E.A. 

N.E.W is all about spreading awareness and isn’t seeking to be the only organization out here fighting. Collaboration is how we win and so, check out what N.E.W has to say about how helping push awareness to the mission:

We want to make this accessible for everyone, so we put together a toolkit to help guide you through the process from beginning to end. Events don’t need to be limited to National Expungement Week, we urge you to make it happen year-round, as there is much work to be done and many lives waiting to be repaired”.