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Huntsville group praises possibility of expungement bill for non-violent offenders

The bill would expunge the record of non-violent and misdemeanor offenders after they complete the necessary steps

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 7:28 PM

On Thursday, WAAY 31 spoke with people who know first-hand the importance of a possible criminal expungement bill.

They told us how getting a fresh start could be the best way to stop people from going back to prison.

"I was born into recidivism, I was born into a family of addiction," Travis Turner, the owner of Transitions, said.

Turner said for as long as he can remember he had a passion to help others in his community. He said he grew up in a neighborhood riddled by crime. Once he found his way out it became his mission to help others do the same.

"We help with job placement, transportation back and forth to their job placement. We help with housing. We have alcohol and drug classes. We have MRT classes," he said.

He opened transitions in 2018. Turner believes a new bill to expunge the records of some non-violent criminals will help ex-cons make a smoother transition when they’re released.

"When you have a background and a past, that eliminates your chance of being able to be that provider which pushes you back to a life of crime," he said.

One of the things that Turner did to help people in transitions is open a barbershop where he employs everybody who comes to him to give them a good solid job to work out. And, people who Turner have helped said getting a job makes a world of difference.

"I have three jobs now," Destin Rogers, who was helped my Transitions, said.

Rogers didn't go into details, but said he has multiple non-violent felonies from when he was younger. He said Transitions helped him get back on his feet so he could provide for his three children. He said if the expungent bill is passed, it'll help out people just like him.

"I would love the opportunity even at my age at 38, you know just some of these guys i think it's going to help a lot, a whole lot they can actually get a career going," he said.

Senator Cam Ward says he is sponsoring bills like the expungement one and the no bail for violent offenders because the state’s criminal justice and prison system is at a crisis point.

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