More than 70 million Americans have some kind of record that impedes their access to employment, housing, occupational licensing and educational opportunities.
There is a growing national movement to help people who have had criminal justice involvement get their lives back on track through expungement, the legal process of clearing someone’s criminal record. Expungement policy varies widely from state to state. It often requires expensive legal assistance and court fees—putting it out of reach for millions of people who are legally entitled to this relief from the stigma of a criminal record.
Public Square produced FAITH IN ACTION and a companion toolkit to inspire replication of innovative one-stop, one-day expungement events at houses of worship.
USE FOR SCREENING EVENTS AT NO CHARGE.
The film FAITH IN ACTION tells the story of a new model of one-stop expungement events that give hundreds of people with past criminal justice involvement the chance to clear their record and their name, at no cost. Filmed at Ebenezer Baptist Church, The Temple in Atlanta and Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia, this short documentary captures the human toll of a criminal record, the relief of expungement, and the commitment and enthusiasm of congregational volunteers and their justice partners working together to give people a second chance. FAITH IN ACTION premiered at the Ending Mass Incarceration conference, June 17-19, 2019 in Atlanta. The film is now being used as a catalyst for action at screenings for faith leaders, legal professionals, community activists and criminal justice reform advocates nationwide.
Download the film from our Vimeo page.
A second version of FAITH IN ACTION was created to highlight the work of The Temple in Atlanta and the theological grounding of criminal justice reform advocacy and action in the Jewish tradition. This film premiered on December 12, 2019 at the Union for Reform Judaism biennial conference.
Both versions of FAITH IN ACTION may be used free of charge. Please consider how you can use the films to inspire more community partnerships to make expungement accessible and affordable.
The FAITH IN ACTION toolkit is a comprehensive roadmap to planning an expungement event in your community. It provides guidance on how to identify local community partners, develop a timetable, prepare for expenses, plan a marketing and PR effort, and ensure that your event runs smoothly.