LOCAL NEWS

Clean Slate Summit highlights Utah’s law that gives people a second chance

Jan 24, 2023, 5:25 PM | Updated: 9:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — More than one in four Utahns has a criminal record and wants that social barrier removed.  The Utah Jazz, the NBA, and Rasa Legal teamed up today to give a big boost to Utahns who need that second chance.  They put on a three-hour Clean Slate Summit to help people expunge their criminal records.

The NBA is highlighting Utah’s Clean Slate Law because the All-Star Game will be played at Vivint Arena next month.  The NBA also has a new arm focused on social justice initiatives, like the Clean Slate Law, which is only the second of its kind in the country.  For those who have already taken advantage of the law, it has made a big difference.

Utah’s ‘clean slate’ law goes into effect to expunge old, minor criminal charges

“You walk around, knowing that you have this thing that makes you different from everybody else, and you feel so isolated. So, it affects you socially,” Brock Smith said.

As a teen, Smith had an addiction disorder that led to bad decisions, and a trip through the criminal justice system.  As he turned his life around that record became a barrier to housing, employment, and higher education.

“When I was able to get my record expunged, I was able to have the freedom that society really brings without the scarlet letter of a criminal record,” Smith said.

At the expungement clinic, more than 350 people with criminal records got legal advice from attorneys volunteering their services.  Under Utah law, many misdemeanor and felony records are eligible for expungement, with the exception of violent crimes and sex crimes.

“Having a criminal record is a lot more common than people think.  If you or a loved, one, has a criminal record, you’re not alone. Over one in four, Utahns has some type of criminal record,” said Noella Sudbury, CEO and founder of Rasa Legal.

Even old records can be a barrier for people turning their life around, she said.  Most landlords and employers do background checks.

“If you have a criminal record, you have to check that box,” Sudbury said.

After an expungement..

“When someone gets their record cleared it opens up all kinds of opportunities for housing, jobs, education, volunteering in your kids’ school,” she said.  “It eliminates all of those barriers of a criminal record.“

The Clean Slate Law was passed unanimously by Utah Lawmakers four years ago and implemented fully last year.  The NBA is using it to highlight what Utah is doing to promote race equity and create second chances.  Already, 200,000 records have been processed and cleared by the Utah courts.

“That’s a huge impact on people who made a mistake, paid their debt to society, and now are coming home,” James Cadogan, executive director of the National Basketball Association Social Justice Coalition said.

Why does that matter to the NBA?

“Because justice matters, and there are so many issues that we can make a difference on, like bringing people together. As a coalition, we start with voting rights, policing, and criminal justice reform,” Cadogan said.

For Brock Smith, it’s a new life without the old barrier.

“That chip is off my shoulder now,” he said. “So just mentally, emotionally and socially, I benefited greatly.“

If you missed today’s event, Rasa Legal has a tool you can use to determine whether you are eligible for expungement at rasa-legal.com.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(FILE) Inside the new Utah State Prison located in Salt Lake City. (KSL-TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah state prisons on lockdown after three assaults against officers

Two Utah state prison facilities were placed on lockdown Sunday evening after three corrections officers were injured in the last two weeks. 
1 day ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

7 arrested in drug trafficking investigation in Utah and Salt Lake counties

Utah County law enforcers served search warrants on four homes simultaneously last week, resulting in the arrests of seven people and the seizure of multiple pounds of meth and heroin.
1 day ago
First responders on the scene of the motorcyclist who fell about 50 feet. (Washington County Sherif...
Michael Houck

Rescue crews save woman stuck in remote area and motorcyclist who fell 50 feet

Washington County officials responded to two different search & rescue operations on Sunday.
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO...
Michael Houck

Backcountry skier dies after slipping, falling near Lisa Falls

A man is dead after tumbling a "significant distance" while backcountry skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday.
1 day ago
USU student Max Shulga during Saturday night's game....
Shelby Lofton

Utah State community responds to ‘Russia’ chants directed at Ukrainian player

Some USU students say that the Colorado State University students crossed a line that goes beyond simple trash talk during a game.
1 day ago
The collapsed awning at the Wing Pointe Apartments (Heber City Police Department)...
Michael Houck

Snow collapses awning at a Heber apartment complex

Six cars were trapped under a collapsed awning after the Sunday afternoon snowfall. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Clean Slate Summit highlights Utah’s law that gives people a second chance