Georgia Justice Project launches new ‘Second Chance Desk’ in Athens

ACC Solicitor General Will Fleenor announced today that his office will start hosting regular, free record restriction events in collaboration with District Attorney’s office and the Georgia Justice Project on the last Thursday of every month starting on September 28.

Dubbed the ‘Second Chance Desk,’ these regular events will allow people with a criminal history to seal their record away, restricting it from being viewed by potential employers. The Solicitor’s office hopes that this process, also known as expungement, will allow those who have paid their debt to society have an easier time accessing employment, housing and other opportunities going forward.

ACC Solicitor General Will Fleenor
ACC Solicitor General Will Fleenor

Fleenor says the Solicitor’s office has been holding semi-annual record restriction events since 2017, but that they haven’t been able to offer them more regularly until now.

“While the big events we’ve done have had a major impact, with hundreds of people able to benefit, we often encounter people who need urgent help with record restriction,” Fleenor told APN. “Having smaller events with less time in-between will allow for people to address the issues they have more quickly.”

Attorneys working in the Solicitor’s office are not able to provide the public with legal advice, so they rely on outside volunteers to staff these events. Two years ago, the Georgia Justice Project opened up the first Second Chance Desk in Georgia in Cobb County and they’ll open the second in Athens this month. 

“We are excited to bring the Second Chance Desk model to Athens-Clarke and Oconee,” said Douglas Ammar, Executive Director of the Georgia Justice Project. “The Second Chance Desk will serve as a community-based resource, removing barriers and offering a lifeline to those seeking a fresh start. We are eager to get started and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the community.”

A ribbon-cutting celebration for the Second Chance Desk will be held on Thursday, September 28, at 8:15 am in front of the ACC Public Utilities Department at 124 E Hancock Avenue.

Although walk-ins will be handled according to availability, in general, pre-registration is required for the Second Chance Desk. You can register here.

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