...or at least a few lives. Statistics tell us the about one-third of Americans have a criminal record. Think of that: the next time you are in a crowd, look around. One out of every three people you see has a criminal record. But that can't be! we think. They don't fit our concept of what criminals are. Those people are normal people, like everyone else. They have served their time. But those convictions block people from getting good jobs, getting housing, and getting an education. the damage doesn't stop there. It is estimated that one out of every two children in the United States have a parent with a criminal record. Those children did nothing. They did not stand before a judge or a jury. Every day they pay for the crimes of their parents, in embarrassment, poor nutrition, financial stress, and loss of opportunity.
We are working to change that picture. One person at a time. One family at a time.
Our team of volunteers, with the help of a grant from LISC and the assistance of Kansas Legal Services, are designing an app for people with criminal convictions who have done their time and stayed out of trouble to apply for the expungement of their records. The project began in 2021 and will extend to 2023. Some of our volunteers have been working on expungement since 2017, both for Kansas and Missouri. Paul Barham, the lead coder, is also the lead coder for the Missouri Expungement Project lead by Ellen Suni of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Scott Stockwell is an adjunct professor the UMKC Expungement Clinic.