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Erasing thousands more criminal records could boost Michigan’s economy

For roughly seven years, Erica Edwards struggled to find a steady job. She was stuck in an apartment she didn’t like. And the Lansing-area mother of two couldn’t volunteer at her youngest son’s school.

A felony conviction stood in the way.

“With that felony on your record, it can depress and take you down so far,” she said.

But that all changed when Edwards applied for expungement and a judge cleared her conviction in November 2020.

“I was relieved to get a second chance at beginning life, a second chance of finding a career that I can provide food for my family, a second chance at getting out of an apartment that I hated so much,” Edwards said. “It was one of the second-best days of my life, other than having children.”

Related: Up to 1 million Michigan residents may be eligible for ‘clean slate’ criminal expungements

Edwards is one of likely millions of Michiganders who have faced barriers to finding steady…

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