During “Second Chance Month” this April, the Civil Rights and Community Action Department is highlighting how the UFCW is helping members and other hard-working Americans with prior nonviolent convictions clear their records and register to vote.
2023 marks 50 years of mass incarceration in the U.S. More than 70 million Americans have a criminal record that creates significant barriers to employment, economic stability, and successful reentry into society. Thousands of legal and regulatory restrictions prevent these individuals from accessing employment, housing, voting, education, business licensing and other basic opportunities. Because of these barriers, nearly 75 percent of people who were formerly incarcerated are still unemployed a year after being released.
Since 2016, the Civil Rights and Community Action Department has partnered with locals and allies to expunge the criminal records of some of our members and other workers in the community free of charge so that they can register to vote and have access to other services, such as affordable housing and education. To date, the UFCW has helped hundreds of people navigate their state’s expungement and sealing laws and clear their records. In 2021, the UFCW formalized an agreement with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to further assist with our expungement efforts.
“We must support workers who are committed to rectifying their mistakes, redefining themselves, and making meaningful contributions to society,” said Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department LaQuita Honeysucker. “We do that by providing them with a second chance to fully access the ballot box, contribute to their communities, and succeed.”
For more information on Second Chance Month activities and opportunities, please visit NACDL – Second Chance Month. If your local is interested in working with the UFCW International to help people clear their records and change their lives for the better, contact Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department LaQuita Honeysucker at email@example.com.