Event with Belmont Law, Supreme Court aimed at getting people ‘back into the workforce’
State Representative Mike Sparks
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s Omicron Sigma Lambda Chapter, state Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), the American Job Center, the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Justice for All Initiative and Belmont College of Law are among those hosting an expungement clinic Wednesday in Smyrna in an effort to help those with criminal records reenter the workforce.
The clinic will take place Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Parkway Baptist Church.
Brandon Evans, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, told the Post that those with Rutherford County criminal records will be able to speak with attorneys and ask questions about removing infractions from their records.
“Everybody deserves another chance,” Evans said. “But once a background check comes back, companies don’t want anything to do with that person in general.”
According to Evans, employers including Krispy Kreme, Bethel University and Allied Universal will be onsite offering jobs to those whose records are expunged.
“The expungement is a way to get people back into the workforce,” Evans said. “Different companies are struggling to hire people right now and one way to get people back into the workforce and to help the workforce, from one aspect, is to help people get things expunged from their record.”
Evans said another expungement clinic will take place at Motlow Community College in the fall.
Sparks said he knows people who have been rejected from a job due to a misdemeanor. He cited one example of someone rejected from a job due to a hunting-related violation.
“He couldn’t get any help; he applied for a job at a friend’s company and they said, ‘we can’t hire you because you have a criminal record,’” Sparks said. “There are people out here that made mistakes. I made mistakes between the ages 15 to 21. All these people in high positions have turned a blind eye, but people’s civil rights are being violated every day. … First and foremost, it’s a freedom issue, and it’s a constitutional issue.”