What We Do

Just City’s vision of a more just and equitable community is realized through the development and implementation of several specific programs, initiatives, and special projects.

Clean Slate Fund

In most cases, clearing up a criminal record in Tennessee requires a $280.00 or $450.00 expungement fee even after qualified applicants complete all requirements of a sentence.

The Clean Slate Fund will pay this fee for people who qualify but can’t afford it. The fund is supported with generous donations from local businesses, foundations, and people like you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expungement is the formal process by which a criminal charge is removed from public record. It does not include removing photos or news stories from the internet. Requests for expungement are handled by the court clerk’s office. Those who have a case expunged will receive a copy of their expungement order signed by the relevant judge. Once you have a criminal charge expunged, you are not required to disclose any information about it to employers, landlords, etc, and they cannot discriminate against you based on an expunged charge.

  • Diversion – if you complete judicial diversion on any case and pay off all court costs, you are likely eligible to have the case expunged from your record.
  • Two convictions – if you pled guilty or were convicted in only two cases (not including driving cases), you may be eligible for expungement; if you have pled guilty to more than two non-driving cases, you will not be eligible.
  • Eligible offenses – only certain kinds of misdemeanors and E felonies are eligible for expungement; a complete list of eligible and ineligible offenses can be found here.
  • Five years – if you have a conviction, you must wait five years from the end of that sentence without getting another conviction before you are eligible for expungement.

  • Court Costs – you must pay of all court costs and fines associated with your cases before the clerk’s office will process your expungement.


Find out if you qualify for expungment.

Fill out this simple form, and we’ll be in touch soon.

Clean Slate Fund Intake Form
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Memphis Community Bail Fund

The Memphis Community Bail Fund operates as a project of Just City and is accessible to clients referred through Shelby County Pretrial Services and the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office. The fund assists those who cannot post bail and pose little flight or safety risk to the community. Bail fund clients more quickly return to their jobs, families, and schools. Research suggests that they are at lower risk for recidivism.

Frequently Asked Questions

An average of 230 people per month in Memphis cannot afford to post a bond under $5,000. Each individual unable to post bond spends an additional seven days in jail at a cost to taxpayers of $107 per night. Shelby County spends on average $2 million per year detaining low-level offenders who are too poor to post bond.

Research has shown a direct correlation among pretrial detention, case outcomes, and future criminal justice system involvement, including an increased risk for failure to appear, new criminal activity, and post-detention recidivism. Each night a client spends in jail unable to post bond results in significant costs and risk to the community.

The Memphis Community Bail Fund is a revolving fund that is supported by donations from the community and helps people avoid the potentially devastating consequences of extended pretrial detention. So long as a bail fund client returns to court as directed, the cash bail is returned to the fund and used to support future clients. Once funded, the fund can be sustained with minimal additional donations.

Your Gift is crucial to helping us sustain our work.

Your donation to this fund works across all three of our agendas — serve, advocate, and reform.

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Participatory Defense

Participatory Defense involves regular, moderated meetings of friends, family, and other community members of a person who is in jail awaiting disposition or sentencing. At the weekly meetings, people share resources, exchange ideas, and otherwise strategize about how to support their loved ones’ defense with the goal of having charges dropped, obtaining probation, securing a reduced sentence or less severe punishment. Participants may be referred by public defenders, allied nonprofit organizations or self referred.

In its first six years, the original hub in San Jose, with whom we have worked closely to design our program, boasted more than 1,800 years of time saved from the possible maximum sentences.

Learn More

Working with our local public defender office, which represents 35,000 people each year, we plan to launch and grow a vibrant Participatory Defense community in Memphis in 2017 and 2018.

Contact Us

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Listen Now

Got Questions About Your Case? You May Qualify for Help.




Got Questions About Your Case?
You May Qualify for Help.



Your gift is crucial. It helps sustain our work.

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