New program unveiled in Metro East to help low level offenders w -

New program unveiled in Metro East to help low level offenders wipe record clean

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St. Clair County recently unveiled a program to give low level offenders a second chance.

States Attorney Brenden Kelly said the Offender Accountability Program will give some pre-screened participants the opportunity to avoid criminal charges by following a new set of rules and will carefully chose who can have a second chance.

“If anything it's a contribution and increases public safety because we're focusing resources in our criminal justice system on the most violent offenders instead of folks that are not posing a great danger to the public,” Kelly said.

Kelly said such offenders may need to complete several steps to have their record wiped clean.

“If the offender in the case is willing to do community service and pay restitution for damage done, do drug treatment or behavior classes. If they successfully complete that then we do not issue the charge, we consider the offender held accountable for their actions. We won't have to brand them a felon for the rest of their life.”

Anita Brandon works in East St. Louis and is excited about the new program.

“There are a lot of people who are getting into trouble, and like Brenden Kelly said sometimes the kids get in trouble because they are doing silly things and it stays with them forever,” Brandon said.

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