Kevin Hempy

  • Hosted by Prairie State Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Deere & Company, Lane & Waterman LLP, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
  • Service location Rock Island, Illinois
  • Law school Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Issue area Workers' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kevin will improve employment prospects and financial stability for low-income community members in Western Illinois through criminal records relief.

It is estimated that over 40% of the adult working-age population in Illinois has a criminal record of some kind. Many workers with these criminal records struggle to gain meaningful employment after interactions with the criminal justice system. Criminal records relief increases employment opportunities for low-income community members and helps to improve their financial stability. Additionally, in Illinois, the healthcare industry faces a shortage of workers. The healthcare waiver process enables workers with old criminal records to work in the healthcare industry.

While interning with Prairie State’s Bloomington office, Kevin was troubled to hear the stories of community members who were struggling to find work because of old criminal records. He is excited and appreciative of the opportunity to help provide this service to the community in Rock Island, Illinois.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Kevin will represent workers in expungement and sealing proceedings of old criminal records. He will also assist workers with old criminal records seeking employment in the healthcare industry in Illinois, through the healthcare waiver process. Finally, he will recruit pro bono attorneys to assist with the project and develop a referral network with other nonprofits in the area.


Kevin Hempy Receives Equal Justice Works Fellowship


The dignity of work should not be denied to someone based on an old criminal record that has no bearing on their ability to do the job and do it well.

Kevin Hempy /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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