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Fresh Start Expo to offer resources for life after prison

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:22 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 24, 2021 at 9:38 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Saturday, Oct. 23, many in Southern Arizona will be on their way to making a fresh start.

The Tucson Convention Center will serve as a one-stop-shop for formerly incarcerated individuals who are looking to clear their criminal history and create a clear path forward.

“This is about helping our formerly incarcerated population in our community, " said Dr. Damond T. Holt, the founder of Fresh Start.

Holt said he has spent the last year organizing the event which will bring judges along with representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, the Pima County Public Defender’s Office and the Pima County Attorney’s Office to the TCC.

“We have a lot of people in this community who are eligible to have their rights fully restored. They just don’t know how to get access to those resources so that is what we are doing, that is why we are,” said Dan South, the Chief Criminal Deputy with the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

South said he knows a criminal conviction can place all sorts of hurdles in people’s way when it comes to finding a job or housing and that’s why he’s going to be at the event.

“We do have a big interest in those who have paid their debt to society and re-entered the community... Just getting them in connection to the right resources is really important to us,” South said.

Fresh Start Expo will offer rights restoration, warrant resolution, along with juvenile record and marijuana conviction expungements.

Holt said the Fresh Start Expo isn’t just about handling the past, but also about planning for the future.

Holt said there will be behavioral health experts offering recourses along with staff from El Rio who can help make doctor and dental appointments.

The Fresh Start expo will also offer a felony-friendly virtual job fair, so attendees can interview for a job right there without having to worry about their record.

Free childcare will be provided.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the TCC.

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