From teaching a record 1,700 students through Law Day in the Schools to releasing a compelling report on criminal justice reform, 2017 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public service initiatives over the past year.
Posts Tagged: Community Reentry Readiness
Last month, the BBA Reentry Education Program wrapped up their final community presentation of the spring. Since 2013, following the formation of this program by the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP), volunteers have been educating probationers and those recently incarcerated on issues faced while reentering society: driver’s license reinstatement, obtaining affordable housing and public benefits, finding employment, and more. This year, the program reached 68 individuals through workshops held at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Coolidge House, and Hope House. We value our partnership with the Court Assisted Recovery Effort (CARE) and Reentry: Empowering Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows (RESTART) programs of the U.S. District Court and with Coolidge and Hope House.
We’re also thankful for the dedication of the Reentry Committee for all their efforts in coordinating each workshop and working with the volunteer presenters to update the materials as necessary. The volunteers are experts in their field and provided workshop participants with invaluable information.
2016-2017 Committee Members
- Julia Devanthéry, Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, Committee Co-Chair
- Sarah Schendel, Irish International Immigrant Center, Committee Co-Chair
- Brendan St. Amant, Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP
- Raquel Webster, National Grid USA
- Anuj Khetarpal, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
- Emily Hodge, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
- Julie Heinzelman, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
- D’Andre Fernandez, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
- Renay Frankel, Harvard Law School
- Lizbeth Ginsburg, Greater Boston Legal Services
- Brian McLaughlin, McLaughlin Law, LLC
- Benjamin Richard, Law Office of Benjamin Richard
- Ryan Sakoda, Committee for Public Counsel Services
At this month’s BBA Reentry Education Workshop at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, volunteers spoke to probationers about how to manage their Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI). In Massachusetts, all criminal records and information is stored on an individual’s CORI and can be requested for viewing through the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS). Often potential landlords or employers will access one’s CORI during the housing or employment application process. Our presenters, D’Andre Fernandez (Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office) and Renay Frankel (Harvard Law School), instructed the attendees how to access their CORI, check it for potential mistakes, and search who has requested their CORI in the past. They also reviewed the criteria for CORI sealing and provided information on legal clinics that can assist with sealing.
This month, the BBA’s Reentry Education Program held a workshop at the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts for probationers looking for guidance on reinstating their driver’s license. Benjamin Richard (Law Office of Benjamin Richard) led the presentation and reviewed the basic guidelines to reinstate one’s license. In many cases, there may be unresolved child support or parking tickets that need to be paid before it’s possible to apply for reinstatement. By outlining a three-step plan to reinstate one’s license, Richard was able to help the attendees figure out their next steps and priorities. Obtaining a driver’s license is a critical step for returning citizens who may need a car or license for employment.
The next Reentry Education workshop will focus on managing one’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI).
If you’re interested in volunteering to lead a Reentry Education workshop, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].
From teaching over 1,500 students their Miranda Rights to instituting a Bar Exam Coaching Program, 2016 was a successful year at the BBA. For highlights and our favorite photos from the year, read on to see how you and your colleagues contributed to our public services initiatives in 2016.
Thank you for a wonderful year, we can’t wait to kickoff 2017 with you!
We’d like to thank our 2016 BBA Reentry Education Program volunteers for donating their time to educate probationers on how to navigate various civil-legal issues faced when reentering society. This year, volunteers addressed over 150 probationers on issues related to employment law, obtaining housing, reinstating a driver’s license, CORI sealing, public benefits, finances, and family law. The BBA partnered with the Court Assisted Recovery Effort (CARE) and Reentry: Empowering Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows (RESTART) programs of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, the CHOICE program in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court, and Hope House and Coolidge House, community partners serving the probation population.
We’re thankful for our volunteers:
Michael Birch, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Lizbeth Ginsburg, Greater Boston Legal Services
Julie Heinzelman, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Anuj Khetarpal, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
David Lieberman, Day Pitney LLP
Brian McLaughlin, Brian McLaughlin Esq. LLC
Kavya Naini, Harvard Law School
Ryan Sakoda, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Phong Tran, Harvard Law School
Blizzards and slow public transportation didn’t stop our volunteers from getting out in the community and giving back during 2015. Take a look below for highlights from the BBA’s 2015 public service efforts:
This week, the BBA’s PILP 11 class held its final meeting. This group of 16 exemplified the mission of the Public Interest Leadership Program: to promote civic engagement and public service by advancing the leadership role of lawyers in service to their community, their profession, and the Commonwealth. To do so, PILP 11 invited leaders from the legal community and beyond to discuss current legal needs and trends, leadership fundamentals, and how to be involved within the community.
The PILP 11 class and Beyond the Billable would like to thank all of the guest speakers for their time, support, and insight. Our slate of amazing speakers included:
- Leadership and management consultant Glenn Mangurian
- Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston Eugene L. O’Flaherty
- BBA Reentry Education Standing Committee members
- Eric Haskell, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office
- Brendan St. Amant, Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP
- District Court
- Mark Wolf
- Denise Casper
- Leo Sorokin
- Jeffrey Rudman, WilmerHale and Boston Public Library Trustee
- Richard Page, Executive Director, BBA and BBF
- Local Politicians
- Barry Finegold, former State Senator for Second Essex and Middlesex District, Massachusetts;
- John Connolly, Boston mayoral candidate in 2014 and founder of the non-profit 1647; and
- Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor At-Large
- Chief Justice Roberto Ronquillo
- Caroline Robinson, Director, MassLegalHelp
- Lonnie Powers, Executive Director, MLAC
- Lisa Tittemore, Partner, Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
- Joel Buenaventura, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Jack Regan, Partner, WilmerHale and Past BBA President
As you can see, PILP 11 had quite the year. Stay tuned for news on the new PILP 12 class!
Last week, the BBA Reentry Education Program changed locations and held a session at the Coolidge House, a Residential Reentry Center for offenders under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Ashley Mann-McLellan, the Deputy Director at New Lease for Homeless Families, met with a group of probationers and case managers to give participants practical tips on navigating the affordable housing application process.
Beyond the Billable reached out to Ashley to learn more about the importance of this session. Here’s what she had to say:
“If you ask someone without a home what their most pressing need is, generally the answer is simply a home. It can be extremely daunting to try to thrive in a homeless situation; finding jobs, maximizing income, and tending to health and wellness issues can be almost impossible during a precarious housing situation. Additionally, there is no text book or simple map sheet to figure out how to obtain affordable housing; the training was so important to the audience because it provided concrete tools, directions and strategies to access affordable homes.”
Yesterday, Dan Routh (Ropes and Gray LLP) joined a group of CARE/RESTART participants at the Moakley Courthouse for this month’s Reentry Education Program session on Massachusetts Driver’s License Reinstatement. In the session, Attorney Routh described common scenarios that participants may encounter when applying for driver’s license reinstatement, and how to navigate hurdles when they appear.
Beyond the Billable caught up with Attorney Routh after the program to find out why this topic was so important to participants. Here’s what he had to say:
“Having a driver’s license is an important threshold step for so many different aspects of a person’s life, whether it’s getting to work, running day-to-day errands, or connecting with family and friends. I am happy to be part of the Reentry Education Program’s efforts to facilitate that process and help participants navigate their way on this important first step.”
Keep a look out for updates about next month’s session on employment law.