Soulsville students head to the TN state Capitol

Soulsville students head to the TN state Capitol

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) - A dozen students from Memphis' Soulsville Charter School headed to Nashville on Tuesday to make a plea to the Tennessee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to reduce fees for some criminal record expungements.

Two of the students will speak on House Bill 2483, sponsored by Memphis Democrat Raumesh Akbari.

The bill is aimed at reducing the court system's $350 expungement fee. The fee is imposed if a person's charge or warrant was dismissed by completing a pre-trial diversion program.

The students will talk about the impact of having a high rate of ex-offenders in their communities and how the expungements will help put more people to work.

In addition to calling the trip a great learning experience for the students, Representative Akbari said, "It's also extremely important that lawmakers get a chance to hear how critical an issue this is in communities that some of them hardly ever get a chance to visit."

Just City, an independent group of attorneys and activists who advocate for community-driven solutions to criminal justice system problems, worked with the students on their presentation.

The students will also attend other committee meetings and meet with their local representatives and senators.

The subcommittee hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m.

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