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National Expungement Works Releases 2021 Impact Report

National Expungement Works, (N.E.W. On February 22, the National Expungement Work (N.E.W.), released their 2021 Impact Report. This report examines all the achievements from the last year in order to aid those who were affected by the criminal justice process for various reasons.

N.E.W. LaTorie Marshall, the founder, shared with us that 2021 would be a monumental and challenging year. “Staying true to the mission, 2021 was about tapping into our organizers because I know they do this healing work 24/7, with or without N.E.W. I challenged myself to get better with my actions with, for, and beside them,” Marshall said in a press release. “2022 is the year we can kick our five-year wealth plan up a notch with our fellowship program. We are the ones who heal each other and help keep them safe while we move forward with reforming system that have been built against us, from learning to lobby your local community to becoming an owner of a building. It’s my belief that if there is a presence of N.E.W. in your community, and you have been systemically impacted or affected, and you need a safe haven to release; come talk it out with us, it’s on us.”

N.E.W. Sponsored by Canopy Growth Corporation, who stated that it is the cannabis industry’s duty to work with organizations to help people and communities in need. “As we evolve our social impact strategy with the support of our community partners, we continue to learn about the injustices faced by equity-deserving communities,” said Canopy Growth Corporation Chief Advocacy Officer Hilary Black. “This includes the difficulties faced by people impacted by the criminal justice system—including the potential for the accumulation of additional progressive charges.  The comprehensive, wrap-around services, such as N.E.W.’s Brake Light Clinics, are a direct response to the barriers and experiences of justice-impacted communities.”

N.E.W. partnered with CFA to help The Social Impact Center and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to identify approximately 66,000 cannabis convictions that were dismissed in Los Angeles County last year. “The combined efforts of such powerful forces, along with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, helped to shine a light on the importance of automatic expungement, as those who qualify may not even know that they are eligible,” according to the 2021 Impact Report. Proposition 47 was the first step in paving the path for marijuana-related expungements. It lowers drug crimes and specific property offences from felonies to misdemeanors. This will allow for future thousands of automatic records expungements.

N.E.W. N.E.W. was established in October 2018. It is now run by 632 volunteers and other organizations. According to the 2021 Impact Report, its many accomplishments include hosting numerous events such as the Week of Action & Awareness, which comprised of 21 virtual and in-person gatherings in 10 different cities, and having assisted over 65,000 people expunge or seal their records through services such as “legal relief, employment workshops, food and produce giveaways, health screenings and voter registration.” Those seeking expungement or record sealing opportunities can fill out a form on N.E.W.’s website to determine the specific state laws and necessities for eligibility.

N.E.W. recently announced that they will be holding 2022 “Brake Light Clinics” in Maryland. will be holding 2022 “Brake Light Clinics” on February 27 in Maryland, with many more plans for 2022 to be announced later. Another expungement effort for cannabis convictions has been increasing each year. California lawmakers filed a bill in January 2022 to expedite expungement of more than 34,000 individuals who still await relief. New Jersey advocates recently organized a clinic to expunge low-level marijuana convictions. It was held in September 2021.