March 4, 2021


equality opinion

Columbus will get $500,000 to assist citizens seal criminal records

The Columbus Town Council is frequently on the facet of offering governing administration grants to private businesses. Monday, it was on the receiving stop of a $500,000 non-public grant to aid residents work by way of the approach of sealing legal records.

The grant from the Alliance for the American Aspiration, a competitive grant application launched by Schmidt Futures, will be made use of to fund “Chance Port,” an on line portal that will provide applicants with obtain to legal knowledge to information them as a result of the approach of sealing certain records.

There are potentially hundreds of thousands of persons just in Franklin County who probably could qualify to have court circumstances sealed, “a process that we know is cumbersome to numerous in our neighborhood,” said Councilman Rob Dorans.

Now, the course of action of sealing a court docket report typically includes location up an in-particular person assembly with an legal professional, filling out paperwork, examining the software for eligibility and blunders, forwarding it to prosecutors for evaluation, and finally heading just before a choose for a final conclusion.

The new on the internet system will streamline that, eliminating the in-human being assembly, and mechanically forwarding apps to lawyers for evaluate, this kind of as those the Legal Support Modern society of Columbus, a nonprofit company that provides lawful help to economically disadvantaged persons in central Ohio.