BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The ink is dry, marking the newest partnership between the Southern University Law Center and Baton Rouge Community College. 

“They’ve been given a second chance on life, why not give them a second chance on education?” asked BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith.  

The agreement focuses on promoting the education of students in the legal field and eliminating barriers, like a criminal background, that prevents graduates from entering the workforce.

“We’re here not only to educate but we’re also here to make the community better and through this expungement project, we’re making that community better,” said Southern University Law Center Chancellor. “We’re helping individuals who would be denied access to economic developmental opportunities, workforce opportunities, and a pathway to clear their records, their jackets as we say.”

The program would offer BRCC students the opportunity to have their records cleared while also providing a learning experience for BRCC paralegal students working with the Southern University Law Center. 

“We all know that Southern produces a great value to this state, producing young lawyers and professionals,” said Smith.

“We’ve been doing work in expungements and affecting a lot of workers,” said Pierre.

According to The Sentencing Project, one in three U.S. adults has been arrested by age 23. As a result, between 70 to 100 million people have some type of criminal record. 

“There’s a group of people out there because of their record and background, cannot access employment because of that and this partnership is going to change that,” said Smith.

At no cost to the students, the expungement program would help clear their records within six to nine months.