THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Thomasville Police are looking to clear the records of people who meet certain criteria.
The main goal is to reduce crime by getting these folks better opportunities for jobs.
"There are a lot of people out there that just want a second chance, this is the way to give them a second chance," said Major Wade Glover, TPD.
300 people in Thomasville and Thomas County will soon have their criminal records expunged at no cost.
Top police officials said it's a right many residents in Georgia who fall under certain criteria are entitled to, and don't even know it.
"A lot of people don't even understand the law, they are entitled to this, but it does take a little bit of legwork, very time consuming," said Glover.
Its all aimed to open new doors for folks, giving them a better chance at securing housing and a job.
"Some people can't get into good housing because of their record," said Glover.
If you are arrested for a crime, it will follow you forever, unless you get your record expunged.
Many housing complexes and employers run background checks on an applicant.
"Some people don't take the time, they just see the original charge and that's it. They don't see the dispossession of the actual charge, if they are not guilty or the case is dismissed," said Glover.
The qualifications for the records restriction are-
- Arrests with no convictions (The charges were dismissed or the Defendant was found not guilty on ALL counts)
- Misdemeanors committed before you were 21 years old, with no more arrests for 5 years.
- Also the arrests had to have been made in Thomasville or Thomas County.
Lowering crime is the bottom line though, giving people the second chance.
"People employed are less likely to commit crimes. People make mistakes, everybody has made mistakes, no one is perfect so the key is to try to correct that, learn from it, and try to move forward with your life," said Glover.