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Criminal Records Program

The criminal records program aims to clear or mitigate clients' criminal records through expungement and sealing, petitions, pardons, certificates and waivers. The program also cultivates and manages partnerships with workforce development agencies and other community-based organizations. If you are in need of help with a criminal record please click the button below.

Please note, our intake may occasionally be closed.

Support our work 

Provide criminal records relief to our partnerships (expungement/sealing).

Draft FDIC waivers and attend FDIC hearings.

Attend and assist with RAP sheet day events.

Training and providing technical assistance to the New Leaf IL grantees regarding expungement and the Illinois Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act.

Provide representation to pro se petitioner’s at expungement and sealing hearings.

Virtual and in-person Know Your Rights presentations.

Provide assistance with alternatives forms of relief such as health care waivers, Certificates of Rehabilitation, and Clemency.

Provide criminal records relief to Specialty Court participants (RAP)

Our Impact

CGLA is recognized as a statewide expert in criminal records relief.  While other legal aid organizations have recently added adult criminal records relief to their service offerings, they have looked to CGLA and the criminal records team to provide training, technical assistance, and direct support to help them establish their programs.  

Over the last few years, the criminal records program has partnered with several different community-based organizations and violence prevention agencies serving thousands of individuals across the Chicagoland area providing criminal records relief. 

Since 2010, the criminal record attorneys have served as “Friend of the Court” at the George Leighton Courthouse, helping self-represented petitioners respond to the State’s Attorney’s objections to their petitions.  As of March 2021, we now serve in this same capacity at the Markham courthouse.  We serve about 50 – 55 people per month, or about 600 annually through these services.  On average we are able to get petitions granted 90% of the time.

The Cook County court system has begun to feel the impact as thousands of residents seek to gain freedom from their past.  With a combination of the Clerk's office being overwhelmed and the shutdown of the court system due to COVID, there are approximately 3,000 petitions waiting for a hearing which were filed as far back as June 2019.   CGLA and the criminal records team took a leadership role to address the petition backlog problem and have been instrumental in implementing improvements to streamline the process. 

Our Services
Our Criminal Records Team

Brandon Williams

Criminal Records Supervising Attorney

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