Cobb DA’s office says record restriction event was “a great success”

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes’s office and the office of Cobb Solicitor Barry Morgan deemed the record restriction event held at the Riverside EpiCenter on Feb. 29 a “great success.”

The event was organized to restrict the records of people arrested for but not convicted of crimes.

The purpose of record restriction is to help the person find employment by removing the stigma of arrest.

According to a public information release from the DA’s office:

Georgia law generally allows people who were arrested but not convicted to have records of that arrest restricted and sealed. Public records of an arrest can hinder people from obtaining employment, housing, or other resources and thereby being a productive member of the community.

The District Attorney’s Office approved 55 applications regarding felony arrests that were eligible for restriction. The Solicitor General’s Office approved 46 misdemeanor arrests for restriction.

Other applicants, who for various reasons were not eligible for record restriction, were able to speak with attorneys and representatives of the Georgia Justice Project to hear about possible options.

Over 100 eligible individuals who had pre-registered were able to pick up copies of their newly restricted records and orders sealing their court records.

The public information release included quotes from various officials and other people involved with the event:

“I found it to be a great success,” DA Holmes said, also noting the event was held on Leap Day. “We wanted to make sure that this was an opportunity that, while putting public safety first, we also help people leap into new and hopefully better futures.”

Solicitor General Barry Morgan said: “Justice goes through all aspects of our criminal justice system. There are many people from many different backgrounds that need this service.”

Chief ADA John Pursley distributed restriction packets at the event.

“In giving people the good news that their record had been restricted, I had not anticipated the emotional response,” Pursley said. “Several people cried. One woman actually jumped up and down with joy.”

Cal Burlock had misdemeanor traffic charges restricted during the event.

“You can’t live freely, in pursuit of life, liberty, property and happiness hampered by old charges,” he said. “It’s extremely important to have events like this.”

The event included a job fair and resource expo.

The next record restriction event is being planned for June 27 at the Cobb Civic Center, with help from District 3 Commissioner JoAnn Birrell. Pre-registration will be required, but applications are not yet open. Watch for updates.