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Software would assist West Virginia expungements of non-violent criminal records

By XENA BUNTON [email protected]

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Unified software in West Virginia courthouses may just be what the state needs to have access to clearing non-violent criminal records.

Almost two years ago, Jesse Kelley, the Clean Slate Initiative Campaign strategist, visited the West Virginia Capitol to discuss the need for an open-minded society after incarceration.

The Clean Slate Initiative, an organization that uses a bipartisan policy model, allows an arrest and conviction record clearance if a person stays crime-free for a period of time.

While lawmakers agreed during Kelley’s visit, one thing she noticed that has stopped the state from advancing the bill in 2023 is the software used in courthouses.

“We did a lot of discovery and found out that the clerks’ offices in West Virginia are not quite there when it comes to technology and software to be able to implement a system that could automatically determine eligibility through software,” Kelley said.

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