Clear My Record is a free online tool assisting people in California with navigating the complicated process of clearing their record. People can fill out a “short, easy-to-understand” application online that typically takes 10 minutes to get connected with a public defender or legal aid attorney.
Currently, 14 counties have public defenders or legal aid officers who use Clear My Record.
“A criminal record becomes a lifelong sentence, serving as both a direct cause and consequence of poverty,” the project’s founder, Jazmyn Latimer, said, “Code For America is working to streamline and automate the record clearance process to provide a fresh start to millions of Americans.”
Since April 2016, Clear My Record has helped over 11,000 people connect with attorneys. Not only did the tool drastically reduce the time to apply from days to minutes, but people are hearing back from attorneys faster. Instead of waiting 3 months, people hear back in 3-7 days.
In May 2018, Clear My Record launched a second program in San Francisco to automatically clear eligible convictions. For the project, Code for America partnered with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
“We built the core technology that uses optical character recognition to scan and read a criminal record, determine eligibility for record clearance under California law, and auto-fill any court forms necessary,” Latimer said.
Estimates hold that around 7,000 cases will be cleared. In addition, Clear My Record’s team is expected to automatically clear 250,000 marijuana convictions by 2020.