October 29, 2020
Checkr’s Expungement Service: Reducing Barriers for Qualified Candidates
Many states have started to legalize low level offenses, but the records of past criminal history continue to present enormous barriers for job seekers.
Laws that restrict employers from denying employment on the basis of these offenses help. But as long as these records are accessible, employers may be biased by seeing them in the first place. That’s why we’ve created Checkr’s end-to-end expungement service, which helps people move forward from their past.
What are expungements?
An expungement removes or “seals” prior criminal records from public access.The benefits of this record-clearance process are far-reaching. Individuals with expunged records have low subsequent crime rates and huge increases in wage and employment trajectories. Because of these benefits, many states, like California and Colorado, are passing legislation that mandates expungements of certain records. Unfortunately, that process can take years due to court backlogs and administrative barriers. Among those legally eligible for expungement, only 6.5% obtain one within five years.
Those impacted by prior records continue to be denied key opportunities, including access to employment, housing, and licensing.
“Even though my conviction was 30 years ago, I experience dealing with my record on a daily basis, and feel I am constantly on the radar, no matter where I go or what I do. There is an image of myself that does not match who I am, but that I carry around every day. It feels humiliating to be viewed as a dishonest person, when that does not reflect who I have been for the past 30 years…I am seeking relief.”
Expediting expungements has proven too costly and difficult to navigate with the average cost for a lawyer at about $1500. Simply identifying which records may qualify for expungement is a big hurdle.
How does Checkr fit in?
Checkr removes the burden from the job-seeker by making expungements both financially accessible and understandable. To make expungements more affordable, Checkr has teamed up with Lawyaw, a trusted partner that offers automation technology for legal services to file the petitions. Please note: Checkr does not make any profit from these services — all costs go directly towards court filing fees and preparation of the expungement petition.
To make expungements more understandable, we only surface expungeable charges we are confident in to job seekers. We automate the expungement process for the job-seeker, reducing the paperwork and intensive back-and-forth previously required. Together, our end-to-end expungement service is one of the simplest, fastest, and most affordable in the nation.
Here’s how our expungement service works:
Our current expungement service targets marijuana charges in both California and Colorado, where we have identified nearly 55,000 marijuana charges that may qualify for expungement.
We are working to offer additional charges and locations. Our near-term goal is to offer the expungement service for all charges that qualify for mandatory expungement by the State.
Educating our customers about expungeable records
As long as these records are accessible, employers may be biased by seeing them. Like job seekers, employers often find it difficult to know which records qualify for expungement. Checkr provides tools that educate our customers on potentially expungeable charges, as well as pending expungements, to help them avoid dismissing qualified candidates.
Help us make expungements even more accessible
Regardless of how low we can offer expungements, $500 is still a barrier for many job seekers.
We are launching our service by sponsoring the first few hundred expungements for eligible job-seekers at no cost to them. In addition, we’re seeking opportunities to partner with nonprofits, government entities, and companies of all sorts to sponsor expungements so more candidates can benefit from a clean slate. If you are interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.