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A criminal record can prevent many people from obtaining housing, voting, or finding jobs. Efforts to make it easier to expunge some records have increased in recent years, but advocates say more work should be done to improve access to record expungement.
Kentucky passed its felony expungement law in 2016, allowing an estimated 91,000 people with some class D felonies to expunge their records. The law required that those Kentuckians stay out of trouble for five years, and pay a $500 application fee for felonies or $100 for misdemeanors. A 2019 law expanded the legislation to include some non-violent, non-sexual Class D felonies for expungement, and lowered the fee to $250.
Local organizations like the Louisville Urban League have offered free expungement services, finding support among philanthropists and Greater Louisville Inc. officials, who say expanded felony expungement could improve Kentucky’s economy. But expungement is still unaffordable for some, and advocates say more progress could be made to expand access in Kentucky.
This week on In Conversation, we discuss criminal record expungement, how it works, who is eligible for it, and what resources are available for those who qualify. Our guests include:
- Iris Wilbur, Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy at Greater Louisville Inc.
- Nick Maraman, Senior Attorney of the Legal Aid Society’s Economic Stability Unit
Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.