Newly appointed Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson Monday endorsed a plan to help people escape from criminal histories to get jobs.
Her office will help provide information and line up volunteer lawyers to represent residents at the Expungement Expo to be held April 29.
Johnson was appointed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to complete the term of former DA Susan Hawk. Johnson is also a former criminal court judge.
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“We are about seeking justice,” said Johnson. “And I think when you know about my history, yes, I’m tough. And we are tough on crime and we’re still tough on crime. However we’re compassionate, too.”
Speaking with Dallas City Council Member Tiffinni Young at a City Hall press conference to announce the program, Johnson said many people are not aware that arrest records which did not result in a conviction can easily be expunged under state law.
Some convictions qualify for non-disclosure, where the conviction record is sealed from immediate release to the public.
“And hopefully that will lead to them getting better jobs and with better jobs, you get housing and with better jobs, hopefully you can get a better education, too,” Johnson said.
Violent criminals, repeat offenders and domestic violence offenders will not be accepted to the program.
Two steps will be required to qualify. First, people must register on March 4. Then, the Expungement Expo will be held on April 29.
Both public events will be held at Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church, 1101 C.B.T. Smith Street in Dallas.
Volunteer attorneys are asked to attend training on February 10.
Officials said around 400 people could be served with this event and efforts to provide the same assistance will continue in the future.
The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office has supported a similar effort.
Contact Council Member Young’s office for more information about the Dallas County Expungement Expo, by phone: 214-670-4689 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.