Salt Lake City, UT, April 16, 2024 – Rasa Legal today announced a lineup of events and opportunities to participate in National “Second Chance Month,” giving hope to the one in four Utahns with a criminal record. 

On March 29, 2024, President Joe Biden proclaimed April as Second Chance Month, emphasizing that “America was founded on the promise of new beginnings. During Second Chance Month, we recommit to building a criminal justice system that lives up to those ideals so that people returning to their communities from jail or prison have a fair shot at the American Dream.”

In alignment with this initiative, Rasa Legal in Utah will be hosting a free panel event open to the public on April 30th from 6-7:30 p.m. at The Other Side Academy (667 E. 100 S. Salt Lake City, UT 84102). This event will feature:

  • Brian Redd, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, 
  • Rep. Tyler Clancy, Utah House of Representatives District 60, 
  • Tyler Hansen, Executive Director of Steps Recovery,  
  • Brock Smith,  Justice-Impacted Advocate,
  • Robyn Syms, The Other Side Academy.

The event aims to be an informative discussion on how supporting people coming home from incarceration through efforts like record expungement is good for public safety, strengthens our economy, and supports working families. Attendees must RSVP at rasa-legal.com/ut-panel.

“Expunging eligible criminal records is an important step in improving public safety and strengthening communities. By giving people a second chance and removing barriers to employment, housing, and other opportunities, expungement helps reduce recidivism and allows individuals to successfully reintegrate into society,” said Brian Redd, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections. “Responsible record expungement policies are a common-sense approach to supporting rehabilitation and reducing the cycle of crime.”

President Biden’s proclamation further underscores the importance of Second Chance Month: “If we pursue this work together, our communities will be safer, stronger, and more just. It will make families and communities whole and help grow our economy, giving everyone a fair chance. I have always believed that our Nation’s best days are ahead — and that is true for every single American too. This month, we recommit to fulfilling the fresh promise that every second chance holds.”

Half of all children in the U.S. have at least one parent with a criminal record, keeping many families in poverty. Research shows that a parent’s record has an impact on their child’s future earnings and opportunities, leading to the perpetuation of that poverty across generations.

People without records (or with expunged records) are 63% more likely to get a job interview, and average wages go up by over 20% just one year after record clearance.  Occupational licensing laws govern who can and cannot work in certain professions—and many of these laws shut out entire swaths of the workforce based on their criminal record.

“An old criminal record shouldn’t be a life sentence to poverty,” said Noella Sudbury, Founder and CEO of Rasa Legal. “Expungement restores a person’s freedom and dignity, and gives people a second chance at employment, housing, education and opportunity.”

To stay engaged during Second Chance Month, Rasa Legal encourages Utahns to check out the following opportunities and resources:

The Salt Lake Chamber’s Fair Chance Hiring Guide, accessible at: https://issuu.com/saltlakechamber/docs/fair_chance_hiring_guide.

The National Reentry Resource Center’s Second Chance Month events: https://nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/events/second-chance-month-2024.

Donate to the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) Second Chance Fund to support individuals going through the record clearance process. Donations can be made at https://www.myusara.com/secondchance/

And, of course, Rasa’s panel event at rasa-legal.com/ut-panel

About Rasa

Rasa is a legal tech company on a mission to provide simple and affordable criminal record expungement. The company developed sophisticated computer software that analyzes criminal record databases and streamlines many of the complex and time-consuming steps associated with determining eligibility for expungement. These affordable expungement services clear a path for access to housing and jobs, higher wages, and a better quality of life for those who have been held back by background checks. For more information, visit www.rasa-legal.com.

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Disclaimer: This post and all other content on the Rasa Legal website should not be considered legal advice and are meant for educational purposes.