Restoration Saturday event helps expunge criminal records

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Residents will have the chance to have many of their questions about the criminal justice system answered Saturday.

Restoring  drivers licenses, restoring voters' rights and ways to have criminal records expunged are just some of what will be offered at Restoration Saturday at Southland Mall in Whitehaven.

This the 4th year for the event, and in the past, thousands of people have benefited from the program, and organizers are hoping thousands more will take advantage this year.

Navigating through the criminal justice system can be overwhelming. The event scheduled at Southland Mall is looking to remove the stress while setting residents up for success.

At The Barber Shop in the mall, there's more than just talks of haircuts. Instead, it's of how to cut through the red tape for those trying to navigate through the criminal justice system.

"They come in, and they go back and talk to their friends and their relatives, and people that live in their community, too," Shelton Marzette said.

Spreading the word is exactly what Marzette wants to happen.

The mall will be transformed Saturday into a help center. District Attorney Amy Weirich called the event a one-stop-shop.

"The hopes of helping people get on the right path as it relates to expunge-able offenses, drivers licenses and child support," Weirich said.

General Sessions Clerk Ed Stanton said the numbers prove that the process really does work.

"Up until September of this year, we've done over 8,600 engagements, and we are looking to do that much more before the end of the year," Stanton said.

But residents have to show up and then trust the process.

"Nobody is going to be arrested," Weirich said. "This is not some trick to get people here. We really are well-intentioned."

"It's bringing a lot of hope to the community of Whitehaven," Marzette said.

Restoration Saturday begins Saturday at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Doors will close at 1:30 p.m., so it's suggested to get to the event early.

All that's needed to bring is an ID. The only cases that will be looked at are ones in Shelby County.

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