Can you clean up a criminal record? New Yolo County program helps some who can
NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 30, 2013 —
From the County of Yolo
Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson announces the launch of the Record Mitigation and Community Reintegration Clinic. The result of a collaboration between the Public Defender’s Office and the University of California, Davis, School of Law, the clinic will help rehabilitated offenders clean up their criminal records to remove barriers to economic stability and avoid recidivism.
“Individuals with criminal convictions face significant roadblocks to full reintegration into society,” said Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson in a press release. “Long after probation has ended or a jail term served, the presence of a conviction acts to reduce access to affordable housing, public benefits and student loans, and to severely diminish employment, among other hurdles. Compounded by the social stigma attached to a criminal record, these collateral consequences threaten to impose a lifetime of disadvantage on ex-offenders.”
California law allows rehabilitated offenders to petition the court to expunge their past convictions, reduce their felony convictions to misdemeanors, earn early termination of probation, or seal their juvenile or arrest records. Because the law requires that the petition be filed in the county of conviction, the Record Mitigation and Community Reintegration Clinic is only able to assist individuals who were convicted in Yolo County. If granted, post-conviction orders mitigate the negative impact of felony and misdemeanor convictions, increasing an individual’s chance to build a productive and stable life.
Working out of the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office, the clinic will also seek to connect ex-offenders with needed civil legal services such as employment or public benefits specialists.
To find out if you qualify for record mitigation services, call Hannah Labaree at (530) 666-8165.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013