Local News

Expungement and Pardon Summit to provide second chances in Clarendon County


The Clarendon County Courthouse will host the 2024 Expungement and Pardon Summit on June 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., providing residents with invaluable resources to clear their criminal records and gain new opportunities for employment and education.

The summit, initiated by Deputy Clerk of Court Shanita Brangman, will be the first of its kind in Clarendon County. Inspired by a similar event in Williamsburg County organized by Clerk Sharon Staggers, Brangman reached out to the Sumter County Solicitor’s Office and other relevant agencies to bring the summit to Clarendon. “After reviewing all the information, I ran it past Ms. Beulah [Roberts], and she said, ‘Go ahead and bring it here,’” Brangman explained.

Key speakers at the event will include Mechelle Potts, the Expungement Coordinator for Sumter County Solicitor’s Office, and Angela Weeks, a Pre-parole and Pardon Investigator. Potts will begin with a lecture explaining the expungement process from the prosecutor’s standpoint. Following the lecture, attendees will have the opportunity to fill out expungement applications on-site.

Brangman highlighted the importance of the summit, noting that many people are unaware that certain charges, even if dismissed, remain on their records. “There are some charges that stay on your record,” she said. “With an expungement, and only certain charges qualify, you can apply to have that charge removed.”

For charges that are not eligible for expungement, a pardon may be sought. “The charge will still remain on your record, but it will be like it was forgiven,” Brangman explained. This can significantly affect individuals’ employment prospects and open new opportunities for them.

The summit will also feature representatives from USC Sumter and the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). USC Sumter will provide information on their bachelor’s degree programs and financial aid availability, even for those with past charges. The DEW will discuss their Second Chance Employment Program, which offers federal bonds and tax incentives to employers who hire individuals with criminal records.

Brangman emphasized the summit’s potential to help residents overcome barriers caused by past mistakes. “A lot of people say that they continue to live the life they live because they’re stuck with court fines and fees and can’t get employed to pay those fees,” she said. “This is opening up an avenue for everyone to get a second chance, to rebuild their life.”

The event underscores a community effort to support residents in moving forward and making positive changes in their lives.

For more information about the 2024 Expungement and Pardon Summit, residents can contact the Clerk of Court’s office at 803-435-4443.