McDuffie County law enforcement help to clear residents criminal record
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MCDUFFIE COUNTY ()- A state law has made its way to Thomson, allowing individuals with minor offenses, clear their criminal background, a process that can take months, sometimes years. 

“we’ve been trying to do this since probably 2019 we got very close to launching it then COVID shut us down and then we had to regroup and then coordinate it I would love to do it at earlier events” said District Attorney Bill Doupe.

Winston Grier is one of many people who are signing on the dotted line for expungement. 

 He has had a criminal record for more than 20 years, making it difficult to get working opportunities. 

Winston Grier Local Business Owner
“I even got a sales manager position maybe about eight nine years ago they hired me and when my criminal background came back maybe about three to five days later, they end up letting me go because of something I had on my criminal background” said Winston Grier, Local Business Owner.

BUT Grier’s criminal history didn’t stop him.

” because of my criminal background I end up having to start my own business because I couldn’t get hired at different places. And so I had to create a way to make my own income” said Grier.

District Attorney Bill Doupe says, although he believes someone’s record shouldn’t hinder them, it takes time to break barriers. 

“But in doing this we found out there’s a set of barriers that are keeping people from helping themselves and developing themselves of the laws that are on the books first of all it’s a legal process so it’s complicated you need a lawyer to do a lot of this stuff” said Doupe.

And there is still hope for those with a record.

“as we understand some people weren’t able to register or even so they may have criminal history that is anywhere in Georgia, what I can tell you about the Georgia Justice Project is that we provide record clearing resources and can sometime provide direct assistance so long as it’s a Georgia state arrest so I would encourage folks to go to our website which is www.gjp.org” said Paige Jann, with the Georgia Justice Project.

” just keep your head up stay focus go and talk to some people whether it’s an attorney a judge go and talk to some people to find what it is you can do to have those things removed” said Grier.

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