SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM Springfield and the Center for Social Justice at Western New England University School of Law announced expungement events on Friday.

According to a news release from Western New England University (WNEU), these events will be focused on criminal record expungement and career opportunities and will take place during the  ABA’s Pro Bono Week, which is October 22 through the 28th.

“The more people we can get back to work and if a barrier to getting back to work is because of a criminal record that can be expunged, we’re now adding and supporting the work force and I think that ultimately benefits everyone,” said Dr. Robert E. Johnson, President of Western New England University.

On October 3, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. MGM Springfield will host WNE law students and other volunteers from the CSJ, as well as employees from MassHire Holyoke, who will provide information for those with a criminal record to learn about the expungement and sealing process. Attendees will have a chance to start the process on-site by submitting a request for a free copy of their Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) report. Along with this event, MGM will host a job fair to connect individuals with employment opportunities.

Those who attended the October 3 event will be invited back on October 26th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to review their CORI with a MassMutual volunteer attorney and/or other legal volunteers who will assist on-site with the expungement or sealing process. This event will also be at MGM Springfield.

These events will provide free legal assistance to people who are seeking to seal their criminal records while also providing information on career opportunities at MGM Springfield, as well as other local employers.

MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley, WNE President Dr. Robert Johnson, representatives of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, MassMutual, and community partners will be in attendance at the announcement.

All of these events are free and open to the public, but participants are required to bring a photo ID.

“I am thrilled that Western New England University’s Center for Social Justice and the School of Law’s future lawyers continue to provide second chances and access to employment opportunities for those in need,” said WNE President Johnson. “These events provide individuals with criminal records who may be facing barriers to housing, employment, and even education an opportunity for a second chance. Together with our partners, we’ll change people’s lives.”

“Criminal record expungement unlocks a meaningful second chance and builds a critical pathway toward enhanced workforce opportunities,” said President and COO of MGM Springfield. “MGM Springfield is incredibly proud to partner with the Center for Social Justice at Western New England University School of Law, and MassMutual to assist in offering a fresh start. Expungement can be a first step in removing the obstacles of past mistakes, to create and shape a bright future.”

“The Center for Social Justice’s Director Ariel Clemmer said, “The CSJ is proud of the work we have done with and for the community around CORI criminal record sealing and the expungement/sealing process in Massachusetts. The CSJ’s CORI initiatives target racial and economic injustice and are intended to empower people by addressing the harm caused to people of color by the war on drugs. We partner with grassroots organizers, community partners, and volunteers to provide all clinic participants with free copies of their CORI records, one-on-one consultations with legal volunteers, preparation of petitions to seal/expunge, and brief legal advice.”

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.