YUROK CLEAN SLATE PROGRAM HELPING EX-CRIMINAL OFFENDERS SUCCEED
Klamath, CA- The Yurok Tribe is the first to offer a program that’s helping tribal members get rid of their criminal records. Today the Office of California Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro’s recognized the Yurok Tribe for their efforts made with the clean slate program.
The clean slate program helps remove non-violent felonies and misdemeanors from the records of those who have not committed a crime in 7 years. Yurok tribal member Willard Carlson Jr. said, "This program gives you renewed hope. There's always hope."
Carlson decided to change his life after he was charged with a felony for his 4th DUI. He said, “That wasn't living. I knew i had a problem. It was really hard to find a solution, but if you want change you can do it."
The DUI’s have cost Carlson a lot of money and pain. He said, “I had a wife. I had children. I got very estranged. We went our separate ways.”
He has been clean and sober for 9 years now and wants others to know that it’s never too late to take back control of your life. Carlson said, "You don't have to wait to be 50, 51 years old to say hey I need to clean up my act. I want other tribal members to know if you want change there is help. Sometimes its hard to do everything by yourself."
The Clean Slate Program is for people who have taken responsibility for their actions and have decided to turn their lives around. Abby said, "But in truth they got into the program because that was once who they were but it is not who they are."
The clean slate program will not only benefit ex-offenders but also the community as a whole. Abby said, "When people clean up their records they then put themselves in a position to meet their responsibilities for themselves for their families."
Tribal members also told us that the program keeps in harmony with their beliefs and the importance of taking care of each other.