Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services) taught the audience about criminal record sealing at the annual CORI Training last Thursday.
Pro Bono Month officially kicked off at the BBA last Thursday with the annual CORI Training—the first of many pro bono trainings to be held at 16 Beacon this month. Our longtime readers may remember our write-up of last year’s CORI Training, but for those of you who are new to Beyond the Billable, here’s the breakdown. The BBA teams up with long-time partner Greater Boston Legal Services each year to train attorneys to seal criminal records in an effort to combat unemployment and break the cycle of poverty. This year’s panel featured Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services). Beyond the Billable checked in with Pauline to hear what guests took away from the training. Here’s what she had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“Hopefully, attendees left with a basic understanding of how to seal records as well as an understanding of the devastating consequences of having a criminal record. Work is the pathway to a better life and out of poverty. CORI traps people in a cycle of unemployment, poverty and often hopelessness.”
Why should attorneys volunteer for GBLS’ CORI Program?
“CORI sealing work is racial justice work. Mass incarceration and disproportionate involvement of people of color in the criminal justice system are the new Jim Crow. The stigma related to having a criminal record has caused an epidemic of joblessness and underemployment in Boston’s predominately black communities. The destruction of life opportunities through criminal records means not only that individuals suffer, but that communities of color are pushed toward a permanent underclass in Boston. Sealing a criminal record can put an end to a person’s chronic unemployment, homelessness and inability to provide for his or her children.”