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"No one's getting off scot-free" - at least, not the people you think

Christian Barrette/Flickr

On the first Tuesday of every month, people make their way to Conference Rooms B and C at the Ordean Building in downtown Duluth, clutching copies of their criminal record.

They've served their sentences, gone two to five years without any new criminal offenses and in many cases, turned their lives around.

It's not news that people who are poor or disabled of people of color are disproportionately affected by the criminal code.  But once you get a criminal record, it's everywhere; standing between you and housing, work, loans, travel, voting - "it affects your life in ways you'd never imagine," says attorney Gwen Updegraff.

So how are folks supposed to get back on their feet?

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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