News Local/State

Expungement Summit To Help Champaign County Residents Remove Criminal Records From Public View


For the first time, Champaign County is holding a group meeting to help some people with criminal records remove those records from public access to help them move on with their lives.

Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman expects the Expungement and Record Sealing Summit to be an annual event.  It’s designed to help those with convictions --- particularly juvenile records --- who have trouble getting a job, and have few financial resources. 

Blakeman says the Expungement and Record Sealing Summit scheduled for Saturday, October 21st in Urbana will allow participants to petition the court to have the circuit clerk seal the record. It would then only be viewable by court order.

She says the event will also provide legal help to those looking for work.

“Hiring an attorney to help them figure all of this is out is really just a pipe dream,” said Blakeman during an appearance on WILL’s daily talk show, “The 21st.” “For most people, it’s really not possible.  So this particular event brings together attorneys, volunteers who can assist people with viewing their criminal record, and helping them figure out based on what’s there – what remedies might you be eligible for.”

Blakeman says the court has allowed her office to waive the usual filing fee for those petitions at the upcoming summit meeting. Blakeman says authorities in Cook County have held a similar event for more than 10 years, and she was inspired by their efforts.

The registration deadline has passed for this year’s Expungement and Record Sealing Summit. But those seeking assistance with expunging past records can contact the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office for assistance, at 217-384-3725.