Gandara Center employees learn process of expunging, sealing criminal records

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampden County DA’s Office hosted a workshop on record sealing and expungement Friday in Holyoke.

According to Hampden County DA spokesperson Jim Leydon, 80 staff members engaged in substance abuse and recovery counseling at the Gandara Center took part in the workshop.

Leydon said the workshop is used to train service members in expungement and sealing of criminal records. The training will allow the staff members to advise people they counsel, who could benefit from either expunging or sealing their record.

To get a record expunged, an individual must first petition the Office of Probation to initiate the process. Often, a hearing is held where the court will decide whether to grant the expungment or not.

Crimes such as violence, child sexual abuse, driving under the influence, and guns or other weapons-related offenses would not be considered. Additionally, crimes with victims who are elderly, disabled, or a family member of the accused will also not be considered.

“A person’s criminal history can be an obstacle to obtaining gainful employment,” said Hampden County DA, Anthony Gulluni. “The forum will provide details on the types of offenses that are eligible to be expunged or sealed and the process on how to go about it.”

Leydon said people may not be familiar with CORI Law or the expungement process due to recent changes in marijuana laws and the criminal justice reform bill. However, the DA’s Office will provide guidance to anyone who may be eligible. The office will also guide people on types of offenses that aren’t considered and how to initiate a review.

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