April is Second Chance Month. As people across the nation are experiencing uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a particularly challenging time for Georgians with a criminal history who were already experiencing unemployment, housing insecurities and economic instability due to barriers caused by a criminal record. Georgia Justice Project (GJP) remains committed to fighting for second chances after an arrest during this tumultuous period and as the effects of the pandemic unfold in the coming months.

GJP reached new ground in recent months by leading  the Second Chance for Georgia Campaign, a grassroots effort that aims to bring change for many of the 4.3 million people with a Georgia criminal record by expanding opportunities for expungement in our state. The campaign brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to push for expansion of Georgia‚Äôs expungement law, which is one of the most restrictive and harshest in the country. Thousands of individuals and more than 74 partner organizations have endorsed the campaign.

     After laying much ground work throughout the year, expungement bill 
SB288 passed out of the Senate during the current legislative session. The Legislature is currently suspended due to COVID-19 precautions, but GJP is hopeful about its path when they reconvene.