Expunging Records, Opening Doors: A Profile of Face Forward Grantees' Expungement Services

Expunging Records, Opening Doors: A Profile of Face Forward Grantees' Expungement Services

Published: May 30, 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica
Associated Project

Addressing the Critical Needs of Youth Offenders: Evaluating the Impacts of Grant-Funded Programs

Time frame: 2013-2018

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration


Jennifer Henderson-Frakes

Hannah Diaz

Johanna Lacoe

Lindsay Reed Feinberg

Key Findings

Key Findings:

  • Grantee staff reported that youth have a poor understanding of the accessibility and impactof their juvenile records on their future employment prospects, and the cost and complexityof the expungement process.
  • Staff believe that educating youth and their families about these issues could improve take-up of these services.
  • State policy requirements—particularly age of eligibility and required waiting periods—make it challenging for grantees to provide expungement services within a two-year grantperiod. Thus, grantees might have to refocus efforts on how to effectively position youth tostart expungement after program participation ends.
  • Due to lengthy expungement processes and fewer youth meeting eligibility criteria thanexpected, as of December 2015, grantees have successfully expunged very few records.
This policy brief reviews expungement policies nationwide and presents information about how Face Forward grantees and their legal services partners designed and provided expungement services. The brief also describes grantees’ lessons learned. These lessons could help current Face Forward grantees and programs offering similar services to a similar population that face similar challenges.

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