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The Springfield Dream Center is hosting tonight's Clean Slate clinic.
SBJ file
The Springfield Dream Center is hosting tonight's Clean Slate clinic.

Clean Slate program returns to in-person clinics

Posted online

The Clean Slate initiative, a partnership between the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Foundation and Legal Services of Southern Missouri, is returning to an in-person program after it was moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Clean Slate clinic is scheduled to be held 6-7:30 p.m. tonight at the Springfield Dream Center, 829 W. Atlantic St., according to a notice posted to SpringfieldBar.com. The no-cost clinic, which helps low-income individuals with prior convictions apply for expungement, requires registration.

Crista Hogan, executive director of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, said clinics have been held over Zoom the past two years with varying attendance. Tonight, 119 people are registered, she said.

"A really important part of this is the impact on workforce of expungement," she said. "One of the impacts of a criminal record is it creates high barriers to housing, high barriers to employment, high barriers to education."

While expungement is "not a magic wand," it can have "huge positive implications," Hogan added.

She said Springfield attorneys Nate Dunville and Scott Pierson are back on board as volunteers for the clinics. A second clinic is scheduled to be held in October, Hogan said.

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