The first in a series of "New Year, New You" workshops, Expungement and Voting Rights was held on Saturday, January 21st at the St. Stephen Family Life Center in Louisville. The workshop was designed to help ex-offenders become productive citizens by providing them with the information and resources needed to obtain criminal record expungements and regain voting rights in time for the 2012 Presidential Election. Attendees asked questions, and obtained applications and materials from presenters Min. Angela Lee Price on restoration of voting rights and attorney Josephine Buckner on criminal record expungements. Lawrence and JoAnn Simpson (photo left), members of Evangel Christian Church were two of 12 workshop attendees.
"It is so easy to look at individuals and say, you did the crime, you suffer the consequences. However, when you look at Kentucky versus other states across the nation, you discover that there is more going on here than meets the eye," Min. Price stated. "Kentucky permanently bars former felons from voting without gubernatorial petition. That is counter to God's law of forgiveness and reconciliation. That is one reason why I have been helping former felons regain their voting rights for seven years," stated Price. Kentucky and Virginia are the last two remaining states that permanently disenfranchise all people with felony convictions, unless they receive individual, discretionary, executive clemency," states the Brennan Center for Justice on page 4 of an extensive national report, Restoring The Right To Vote released in 2008. In stark contrast, voting rights are automatically restored in 13 states including Indiana and the District of Columbia once former felons are released from prison. In two states, Maine and Vermont, even prisoners may vote.
|Jesus Saves Ministries founder and workshop presenter Min. Angela Lee Price with workshop attendees displaying gifts they won at the workshop, including t-shirts, and baskets with James Fortune & FIYA new CD, Identity.|
"Alot of times when people start an endeavor with the court system, they don't know where to start, and taking that first step is often the hardest step. The fact that they can see the forms, get information on how to fill them out properly, find out where to go, how much it is going to cost, they can make their plan and be successful," stated Josephine Buckner.
Listen to Min. Angela's interview with atty. Josephine Buckner and workshop attendees.
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