The Omicron Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), the American Job Center, the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Justice for All Initiative, and Belmont College of Law are part of those holding a radiation clinic Wednesday in Smyrna with the aim of helping people with criminal records re-enter the workforce.
The clinic will be held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Parkway Baptist Church.
Alpha Phi Alpha member Brandon Evans told the Post that people with Rutherford County criminal records will be able to speak with attorneys and ask about having offenses removed from their records.
“Everyone deserves another chance,” Evans said. “But once a background check comes back, companies don’t want anything to do with that person in general.”
According to Evans, employers such as Krispy Kreme, Bethel University and Allied Universal will be on hand to offer jobs to those whose records are cleared.
“Discharge is a way to get people back into the workforce,” Evans said. “Different companies are struggling to hire people right now and one way to get people back into the workforce and help the workforce, on the one hand, is to help people clear things from their file.”
Evans said another radiation clinic will be held at Motlow Community College in the fall.
Sparks said he knows people who have been fired from jobs because of a misdemeanor. He cited an example of someone being fired from a job because of a hunting violation.
“He couldn’t get help; he applied for a job at a friend’s company and they said, “We can’t hire you because you have a criminal record,” Sparks said. “There are people here who have made mistakes. I made mistakes between age 15 to 21. All these people in high places have turned a blind eye, but people’s civil rights are violated every day. … Above all, it is a question of freedom, and it is a constitutional question.”