Program helps criminals seal their records, start fresh

The meeting marked the start of what the Department of Justice designated “National Reentry Week,” an effort to ramp up public safety events that help formerly imprisoned people.
News Story (Nevada)

Kimber Laux
Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 1, 2016

Tags: Criminal Records, Expungement / Record Sealing

Organizations mentioned/involved: Nevada Legal Services, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada


The opportunity for people with arrests or convictions to seal their records is essential in Nevada, where jobs in gaming — the state’s largest industry — are often off-limits to people with a criminal past, said Kris Bergstrom, directing attorney at Nevada Legal Services’ local office.

Bergstrom’s office, a federally funded civil aid organization, usually is only able to give legal help to people who fall below a certain income level. Because the funding for the record-sealing program came from an AmeriCorps grant, the program is free and available to anyone, regardless of income.

Cheryl Culpepper, a 50-year-old Henderson woman in the process of having her record sealed, said the program has been a game-changer for her.

She was addicted to methamphetamine for 36 years and was in and out of jail until about 16 months ago, when her mother helped her sober up and find work, she said. During her years of addiction she accrued two felony drug convictions that she says are now keeping her from her lifelong dream of being a veterinary technician.