LEAP, Goodwill’s Legal Expungement and Assistance Program, focuses on UWWC’s goal of Financial Stability. For individuals with a criminal history, having even a minor criminal record can be a major barrier. Without expungement, a criminal history can remain a roadblock to economic security and mobility that adversely effects individuals, families and our communities. LEAP brings together the legal, business and social service communities to remove these barriers and to create opportunities for participants to pursue financial independence. In the state of Maryland, if you meet certain requirements, you can get your criminal record erased through a process called expungement.
LEAP reviews each case, and successfully minimizes or eliminates charges and convictions from a Washington County resident’s record in accordance with Maryland law. This in turn increases access to employment, promotion and better paying work. With a paycheck, an individual can address basic needs like food and clothing. With a clean record or significantly smaller “rap sheet”, LEAP participants can target longer-term stability addressing issues like bankability and stable shelter for self and family. Combining expungement, soft skills attainment and job training together, LEAP works to generate access to employment that results in a positive impact on housing, public assistance, education, and building good credit for the participants.