Macon – Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke announced the launch of a new online application portal for record restriction applications on Wednesday.
Georgia law provides for the restriction of certain criminal history records for non-criminal justice purposes, such as employment, when approved by a prosecuting attorney. The Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office has jurisdiction to review applications for arrests that occurred in Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties.
“Eligible individuals can now submit applications from the convenience of a computer or smartphone, and without a fee,” Cooke said. “I believe in second chances, and this service will give many people opportunities that were previously out of reach.
“Studies show that expanding access to record restriction isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s a proven way to reduce crime. It makes all of us safer, and it shows that the system isn’t just in the punishment business. It shows we want to fully restore people who paid for their mistakes a long time ago, and that we recognize when someone has made positive steps to change,” Cooke said.
Examples of eligible individuals are those whose case was disposed of without a conviction, people who successfully completed a pre-trial intervention or diversion program and people convicted of certain misdemeanors under age 21.
The service doesn’t shorten anyone’s sentence or dismiss any pending charges.
Record restriction previously was only available via a written form submitted either to law enforcement or to the District Attorney’s Office. For applications requiring law enforcement to perform a criminal background check, a fee was charged.
In the past two years, the District Attorney’s Office has held multiple record restriction events, the most recent drawing an overflow crowd numbering in the hundreds. Due to COVID-19, a record restriction event planned for April was postponed.
For more news from the District Attorney’s Office, follow on Twitter @DA_DavidCooke, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DADavidCooke and on Instagram at da_davidcooke.
Contact: Amy Leigh Womack