Healthy, Safe & Thriving Communities

Everyone should have a safe and healthy community to call home. We all want to live in a place where everyone can find a job with a fair wage and secure safe and affordable housing. But for hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents, this simple dream is out of reach.

Do you want to hear about how Clean Slate laws can change your life?

Watch and share these videos to help us lift up these powerful stories of second chances!

Do you want to partner with us?

Email or call us at or 517.482.7753 with your interest to co-sponsor an event.


There are a number of free resources available for people who need a lawyer or legal advice.  We recommend the free resources produced by Michigan Legal Help, and the free legal services provided by Legal Aid (generally for people whose income is <200% of the federal poverty line).  Michigan Legal Help also offers a lawyer referral service for those that are interested and may not qualify for assistance from Legal Aid.

Michigan Legal Help (

Expungement resources (including online eligibility tool): 

Intake for Legal Aid via Michigan Legal Help


Phone: Phone intake is available through the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line (CALL) at 1-888-783-8190.  Operates Monday through Thursday between 9:00am – 5:00pm (and until 6:00 on Wednesday only), or Friday between 9:00am – 1:00pm.

Legal Aid

Find your local legal aid: 

Project Clean Slate (free expungement services for Detroit residents)

To register online:

Other ways to contact: Project Clean Slate, 2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 500 Detroit, MI 48226, (313) 237-3024, Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm,

Oakland County MichiganWorks!

Oakland County Michigan Works!  launched a  program to help eligible county residents expunge certain criminal convictions from their record.  To start the process, individuals should complete an online Request for Services at After this information is submitted, a program representative will contact the person with more details on their eligibility.

Petition processing times

Processing times vary from court to court, but it is not uncommon for the petition process to take 6 months or more to complete.  Many courts schedule the hearing on the petition three months or more after the filing date to allow the State Police and Attorney General’s office to complete the required background check and statutory eligibility analysis.  If these steps are not completed before the scheduled hearing date, the hearing will need to be rescheduled.  In addition, processing times may also be impacted by hearing backlogs that have accumulated in many courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please contact the relevant court or a local legal services provider with specific questions about processing times.

Second Chances

All of us value a second chance when we’re given one. But for people who have a criminal record, that second chance often seems elusive. They were told they had to pay their debt to society – with the implication that once that debt is paid, their punishment would be over. But after they are released from jail, prison or probation, many of them continue to pay for their mistakes. Many landlords won’t rent apartment or homes to them, and many employers refuse to even look at a job application after a job seeker checks a box acknowledging that they have a criminal record. As a result, many people continue to pay for their mistakes for decades — even if they never had another run-in with the law.

While there was a process to have a criminal record cleared in Michigan, it was not available to everyone–only someone with a limited criminal record (one felony or two misdemeanors*) and who was five years from the end of their sentence could apply.  Also, many offenses were excluded from expungement, including traffic offenses.

Even people who did qualify for an expungement faced significant challenges. The process of clearing a criminal record took months, and involved complex eligibility rules, fees, fingerprinting, appearing before a judge, and facing potential challenges from prosecutors and crime survivors. That’s why nearly 95 percent of people eligible for expungement didn’t even apply. The automatic expungement process removes all these barriers for those with non-assaultive offenses.

If more people can get their criminal records expunged, more people will have the opportunity to find good jobs and secure safe and affordable housing.  This will help strengthen families, communities, local economies across the state, and promote public safety.


Expungement: The elimination of arrests and convictions from a person’s public criminal record. Strictly speaking, when a record is expunged, a criminal past is excluded from view from everyone. However, in Michigan, “expungement” means that law enforcement and the courts can continue to see someone’s criminal history, while employers, landlords and other members of the general public cannot (see “record sealing”).

Record Sealing: Setting aside or sealing a criminal record so that it is hidden from view of the general public, but still visible to law enforcement and the courts.

Why Clean Slate for Michigan is important

Having a criminal record can prevent people from getting a good-paying job, obtaining safe and affordable housing or even getting into a college or job training program. Many employers and landlords have policies that exclude hiring or leasing apartments to people with a criminal history. An expungement shields those convictions from public view, while allowing police and courts to still view the information.

While an existing expungement process existed in Michigan, it was limited in eligibility, expensive to complete and confusing to navigate. As a result, fewer than 7 percent of all people who qualified for an expungement even attempted to obtain one. However, great benefits awaited those who did — a University of Michigan study found that wages rose an average of about 25 percent within two years after getting an expungement.

Here are stories why Clean Slate is important:


Download>> State of Michigan application to set aside conviction

Our blog series on expungement in Michigan:

Visit>> Collateral Consequences Resource Center: Data analysis shows expungement leads to higher employment and wages, lower crime, but Michigan’s expungement process discourages 95 percent of eligible recipients from applying

Download>> The Free-Market Case for a Clean Slate

Download: ‘Redemption’ in an Era of Widespread Criminal Background Checks

Visit>> Michigan Attorney General’s Office Expungement Resource Page

Visit>> Michigan Legal Help 

Visit>>  Project Clean Slate (only for Current Detroit Residents)

Visit>>  Semca Michigan Works Clean Program

Visit>> Oakland County Clean Slate Program

Visit>> Washtenaw County Conviction Integrity and Expungement Unit

Visit>> Legal Services of South Central Michigan Expungement Intake Form

Learn about MichiganWorks! resources across the state!

Capital Area MichiganWorks! (Clinton, Eaton & Ingham counties):

Detroit at

GST MichiganWorks! (Genesee Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee & Tuscola counties):

Macomb/St. Clair MichiganWorks!

MichiganWorks! Berrien• Cass•Van

MichiganWorks! Great Lakes Bay (Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw counties):

MichiganWorks! Northeast (Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego & Presque Isle counties):

MichiganWorks! Southeast (Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston & Washtenaw counties):

MichiganWorks! Southwest (Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo & St. Joseph counties):

MichiganWorks! West Central (Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana & Osceola counties):

Northwest MichiganWorks! (Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, & Wexford counties):

Oakland County MichiganWorks!

SEMCA MichiganWorks! (Monroe & Wayne counties, excluding Detroit):

UP MichiganWorks! (Entire Upper Peninsula):

West MichiganWorks! (Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon & Ottawa counties):