Metro Council launches program to help felons get a second chance
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Dawn Watson is trying to have her criminal history expunged.
She admits a drug addiction led to a lot of bad decisions and prison but said she's been clean since 2010.
"I've been in and out of the system for quite some time," Watson said.
Despite getting clean, paying her debt to society and earning a paralegal degree, Watson said she's still serving time because she can't find a job in her field.
"Many of our constituents have found themselves where they made a mistake in life, and because of that one mistake, they've been held back from many different things," Metro Council President David James said.
James and fellow council members David Yates and Barbara Sexton Smith made an announcement Tuesday at the Jefferson County Public Law Library that will give a lot of convicted felons a clean start and second chance.
"We feel like that will help our community," James said. "We feel like it will help the citizens of our community and that it's the right thing to do."
Metro Council is providing $20,000 for the cause. The money will be managed by the library foundation and used to pay for records to be expunged.
"It is a win-win program. We are changing people's lives, and we are also improving the city," Yates said. "You don't realize the impact that can have one someone's life, who has been labeled a certain way, to be able to have a fresh start."
Watson has never given up on working in her field and believes it's possible now.
"I went to school, probably in 2004 through 2006, to be a paralegal," she said. "That's my dream job. Still today, that's my dream job."
To find out if you are eligible for your criminal history to be expunged, just go to the Jefferson County Public Law Library and fill out an application. The library is located in the old jail building at 514 W. Liberty Street in downtown Louisville.
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