Initiative description

Having a criminal record or a suspended driver license makes it much harder for residents to find work and housing and to share in Durham's prosperity. These issues affect tens of thousands of Durham residents, many of whom cannot afford legal representation that could assist them in expunging criminal records, restoring drivers' licenses, or getting certificates of relief.

Currently, our community is only able to provide pro bono legal assistance in these areas to several hundred residents each year. As a result, thousands who are poor suffer worse or longer-term consequences than wealthier, more privileged individuals charged with similar offenses. We seek to address this challenge through a new, multi-faceted approach -- the Durham Expunction and Restoration (DEAR) program -- designed to significantly scale up our community’s capacity to expunge records, restore drivers' licenses, and grant certificates of relief.

DEAR draws from lessons we learned with our first driver’s license restoration pilot. The program officially launches in January 2019. Be on the lookout for the new website: