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By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2014
More people in Baltimore than any city in the country search Google for information on getting criminal records expunged, but activists found the the results offering advice on how to wipe clean old arrests pretty unhelpful. So, they decided to launch their own app to walk people through the process in the hopes that simplifying how expungement works could help people with arrest records get jobs. A beta version of the app, Expunge Maryland,  went live this week . Users of the app can either pull their records from the judiciary's case search system, or follow instructions on how to get their complete rap sheet from the state.
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NEWS
October 3, 2014
American voters and taxpayers, it's time to wake up and clean house in Washington ( "Secret Service allowed armed man with criminal record on elevator with Obama," Oct. 1). We have the VA scandal with cooking the books and stealing our tax dollars in the form of bonuses they did not earn while lawmakers in Washington gave the agency another $17 billion without firing anyone or prosecuting anyone. Now we have the Secret Service not protecting the president. I don't know about other taxpayers but I have grown sick and tired of government employees spending my money and not doing their jobs.
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NEWS
By Melissa Broome | May 2, 2012
On April 25, theU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC), for the first time in 25 years, updated its guidance on how employers may use criminal background checks in the hiring process. The new guidelines reaffirm that it is illegal under the Civil Rights Act for companies to exclude people from employment based on arrest or conviction records - unless the offense is directly related to the job at hand. The need for EEOC action was dire. More than 1 in 4 Americans - 65 million people - have an arrest or conviction record, leaving a significant segment of the population largely shut out of the job market.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Prince George's County will become the state's second jurisdiction to stop honoring federal requests to hold illegal immigrants beyond their scheduled release unless agents can demonstrate it is likely that they have committed a crime, county officials said Thursday. County officials have issued the policy in response to a recent letter from the office of the Maryland attorney general, who opined that holding immigrants on "detainers" requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement without probable cause to believe they are criminals could violate the Fourth Amendment.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | January 20, 1994
A former Western Maryland College athlete and honor student, convicted last year of lying to police about being raped, will have the conviction wiped off her criminal record, a Carroll Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday.Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. granted Amye Lynne Walker's request for probation before judgment because she "should not have a criminal record," the judge said.The judge also agreed to allow Ms. Walker, 23, of Calvert County to serve the remaining 2 1/2 years of her three-year probation unsupervised.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter | March 15, 2007
Lawrence Banks, a man convicted in two 1991 murders and questioned in two recent killings, was sent back to prison yesterday, his parole revoked by a commissioner who called his 30-year criminal record "horrendous." Banks, 53, a Baltimore native who has spent half of his life in prison, had been held since Dec. 13 on two possible parole violations. A day earlier, his girlfriend's 22-year-old daughter and 9-month-old granddaughter were fatally shot in a house in Laurel that they all shared.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | January 6, 2011
A Baltimore City Council committee chose William A. "Pete" Welch Jr. to replace his mother on the council, despite concerns about his past criminal offenses. Nine of the 12 council members on the committee voted Thursday for Welch, who worked for nearly 30 years as a legislative aide to his mother, Agnes Welch, who retired last month after 27 years on the council. The full council's 15 members are scheduled to make a decision Monday. Welch's candidacy sparked an outcry from community leaders and political observers.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
Baltimore's City Council voted unanimously Monday to ban employers from asking about an applicant's criminal record until after a job interview  - a sweeping requirement that supporters say will make it easier for ex-convicts to get jobs. But some businesses have objected to the proposed law, arguing it would cost employers time and money spent on job candidates who aren't appropriate employees. The council amended the bill to exempt "facilities servicing minors or vulnerable adults" to address concerns that, for instance, employers would not be able to screen out sex offenders seeking jobs at day care centers.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2010
A 30-year-old man who died in what police believe was an arson might have been tracked to his home after an altercation at a club before being beaten, doused in gasoline and set on fire, according to a friend of the victim in an account confirmed by two sources with knowledge of the investigation. Few details have been released in the investigation of the Saturday morning blaze, which broke out in the 1400 block of Homestead St. in Northeast Baltimore. The death of Ellison McCall Jr., a New Jersey native with no criminal record, is the first arson killing in the city since 2006.
NEWS
By Jill Rosen, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2011
The Baltimore City Council on Monday selected William A. "Pete" Welch Jr. to take the seat of his mother, Agnes Welch, despite a flurry of controversy over his criminal record. By a 10-3 margin, the council voted for Welch, 57, an accountant by trade who has spent decades working in his mother's 9th district office as an aide. After the vote in City Council chambers, Welch, his mother and his daughter went downstairs for Welch to take the oath of office in the mayor's gilded ceremonial room.
NEWS
By David L. Warnock and William H. Murphy, Jr | August 13, 2014
In Maryland, when you're charged with a crime, that information automatically enters the public record, easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection - including prospective employers, landlords, credit card companies and others. In Baltimore, the vast majority of charges either are dismissed, result in the state's attorney declining to prosecute, or are indefinitely postponed by the courts. In 2013, only 17 percent of criminal cases in city district court resulted in convictions.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2014
More people in Baltimore than any city in the country search Google for information on getting criminal records expunged, but activists found the the results offering advice on how to wipe clean old arrests pretty unhelpful. So, they decided to launch their own app to walk people through the process in the hopes that simplifying how expungement works could help people with arrest records get jobs. A beta version of the app, Expunge Maryland,  went live this week . Users of the app can either pull their records from the judiciary's case search system, or follow instructions on how to get their complete rap sheet from the state.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2014
State Sen. Brian Frosh questioned Baltimore County Del. Jon Cardin's fitness to be attorney general Friday, citing the endorsement of his Democratic primary rival by a local rapper facing human-trafficking charges. "At least one of my opponents lacks the rudimentary judgment required for holding the office of attorney general," Frosh told The Baltimore Sun's editorial board during a previously scheduled meeting. "Can you imagine the attorney general of Maryland putting his arm around a guy and saying, 'I'm proud to have his endorsement,' not knowing this person has just been charged with 22 counts of human trafficking and prostitution, facing 190 years in jail?"
NEWS
May 4, 2014
As job training practitioners and advocates for effective policies and practices for people returning from prison, we are pleased with the Baltimore City Council's decision to "Ban the Box. " ( "Council passes 'Ban the Box' legislation," April 28). The legislation expands current law by requiring private businesses with 10 or more employees to eliminate questions about previous arrests or convictions from initial job applications. The Greater Baltimore Grassroots Criminal Justice Network applauds Councilman Nick Mosby's leadership and the accompanying support of the City Council.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Controversial legislation intended to help ex-convicts find jobs is headed to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for her expected signature after the City Council gave the measure final approval Monday. The "Ban the Box" bill will force Baltimore employers to wait to ask about a job candidate's criminal history until a conditional offer has been extended. The bill passed despite an intense lobbying effort from business leaders, who said they should have the right to vet prospective employees early in the process.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Friday that the Baltimore City Detention Center will no longer automatically honor requests from the federal government to hold immigrants for deportation — making the state-run jail one of a relative handful in the country to take a more discerning approach on such requests. The move is intended to reduce deportations of immigrants who do not have criminal records under a federal program called Secure Communities. The program, run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is supposed to identify repeat and violent offenders for deportation.
NEWS
March 17, 2014
The Baltimore City Council's expected approval next week of a bill that would ban employers from asking about a job applicant's criminal record before conducting an initial interview could greatly benefit efforts to reduce unemployment in the city if it makes it easier for ex-convicts to get jobs. More than half of the offenders released from Maryland's prisons return to live in Baltimore, and the chance that they will re-offend often depends to a large degree on whether they can find legitimate employment to support themselves and their families.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 9, 2013
The family of a 28-year-old man found fatally stabbed Friday behind a railroad car in Southwest Baltimore said they're struggling to understand why someone would take his life. LaConte Mitchell, who worked security at Spring Grove Hospital Center, had never been arrested and "was always on the straight and narrow," said Tyronea Williams, 37, a close cousin. "He was a good kid — trouble never found him, and he never looked for it," Williams said. Mitchell was found suffering from stab wounds about 6 a.m. Friday at the end of the 600 block of S. Fulton Ave. in a grassy field near an idled set of railroad cars.
NEWS
April 17, 2014
Kudos to Maryland lawmakers and the governor for taking action to remove the criminal penalties associated with the personal possession by adults of small quantities of marijuana ( "A step toward sanity on marijuana," April 14). Adults who choose to consume cannabis should not face arrest, prosecution and the stigma of a criminal record for ingesting a substance that is, by any objective measure, safer than either alcohol or tobacco. Similar legislation to decriminalize marijuana has already been enacted in 17 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska and Ohio.
NEWS
By Mark Matthews Sr | April 9, 2014
"Oh, Baltimore, ain't it hard just to live?" Nina Simone lamented in song about life in the city back in 1978, and not much has changed since then for the tens of thousands of residents who are living in poverty, are homeless or who are suffering unemployment due to a background check that prevented them from getting work. Legislation currently before the Baltimore City Council - Council Bill 13-301, to ban the checkbox that asks about a job seeker's criminal history on the employment applications of companies doing business in the city - has been held up by critics and is in danger of dying.
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