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September 17-23: Expungement Week

WHEREAS, the week of September 17 - 23 is a large-scale movement to ensure that the 77 million Americans with convictions are aware of their options and have access to services; and,

WHEREAS, historic, bipartisan state laws went into effect this year in Michigan to automatically seal all or part of the conviction records of more than 1 million Michiganders; and,

WHEREAS, Michiganders in every region of the state have hosted Expungement Week celebrations, and fairs, and made resources available to scores of residents, thanks to the support of organizations such as Safe & Just Michigan, Project Clean Slate, The Black and Brown Cannabis Guild and Legal Aid, Miller Canfield, Michigan Association of United Ways, 211 Michigan, and the Detroit Justice Center; and,

WHEREAS, recent efforts by the office of Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and the State Court Administrative Office to roll out a process to automatically expunge certain convictions without an application, per the bipartisan Clean Slate legislation that was enacted in 2020, has had a direct impact on over 1 million Michiganders; and,

WHEREAS, as of September 2023, under the new automatic set-asides process, 887,545 individuals have had at least one conviction set aside automatically, with a total of 1,353,237 convictions and 277,337 individuals have a clean slate having no record to disseminate; and,

WHEREAS, sealing these records will create life-changing housing and employment opportunities for  our neighbors who served their time and paid their debt to society, while significantly increasing the talent pool available to Michigan's business community as we seek to grow our economy and hire more workers; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 17 – 23, 2023 as Expungement Week in Michigan.