Posts Tagged: Reentry Education Program

Volunteers Reflect on Reentry Education Sessions

IMG_2872 IMG_2866

At the BBA, one of our public service initiatives focuses on helping probationers to understand the complex world of legal and financial obligations they’ll be met with when their sentence is up. Two longtime volunteers with the BBA’s Reentry Education program, David W.S. Lieberman and Brian McLaughlin, caught up with Beyond the Billable to talk about their most recent educational sessions.

Liberman, a former PILP member and Associate at Day Pitney LLP, led a session on financial literacy and responsibility for participants of the CHOICE program in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court.

CHOICE is an intensive probation supervision program in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. CHOICE offers young adult probationers the opportunity to pursue either educational or vocational goals as an alternative to incarceration.

Lieberman spoke on a range of topics, from including how to open a bank account, track your spending, and understand credit reports and ratings.

“It’s really important to help people understand the building blocks to achieving financial stability particularly how credit ratings are used to make decisions about things like housing and employment.  These concepts are very rarely taught in school and it is vital that people understand them especially as they are trying to get their lives back on track,” Lieberman said. “I am always energized by the level of engagement during these sessions and I am grateful for the opportunity to present to the CHOICE participants.”

The session was part of the BBA’s Reentry Education Program, which aims to help probationers successfully undergo a new beginning.

Our volunteer attorneys also work with probationers in the Federal District Court’s CARE/RESTART program, and McLaughlin, a former PILP member of Brian McLaughlin, Esq. LLC, recently led a presentation on family law. He spoke to a group about navigating complex issues like child support, paternity and custody issues.

“I honestly look forward to this event every year. I always learn something from the audience that I would’ve never thought of. Each year that I do the presentation, I come away with a renewed perspective of family law,” McLaughlin said. “This year’s presentation was among the most interactive and I cannot wait to see what next year’s group brings.”

BBA Reentry Education Program Kicks Off 2016 Season

Anuj Khetarpal (Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General) presented on reinstating your driver’s license to participants in the CARE/RESTART program at the Federal Court last Wednesday.

Anuj Khetarpal (Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General) presented on reinstating your driver’s license to participants in the CARE/RESTART program at the Federal Court last Wednesday.

The BBA is once again holding civil legal workshops for probationers in the CARE/RESTART Program at the Federal Court and CHOICE Program at Boston Municipal Court in Roxbury. As you may remember, the PILP class created this initiative with CARE/RESTART in 2012, and last year’s PILP class expanded the program to the CHOICE Program.

Last week, Anuj Khetarpal (Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General) presented on reinstating your driver’s license to participants in the CARE/RESTART program at the Federal Court, while Michael Birch (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP) and Julie Heinzelman (Prince Lobel Tye LLP) headed to Boston Municipal Court in Roxbury to teach participants in the CHOICE program about employment law.

Michael Birch (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP) presented on employment law to the CHOICE participants last Friday.

Michael Birch (Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP) presented on employment law to the CHOICE participants last Friday.

Here’s why our presenters think employment law and reinstating your driver’s licenses are important topics for probationers:

Michael Birch: I think obtaining and maintaining steady, productive employment is a critical part of re-entering society.  Hopefully, being educated and aware of their rights and obligations as applicants and employees will help them obtain and maintain such employment.

Anuj Khetarpal: Reinstating your driver’s license is an important topic for probationers because it helps probationers rebuild their lives. It is a helpful, and sometimes necessary, step in order for the probationers to get a job, support themselves and their families, and to build lives for themselves. Resultantly, these steps help probationers stay out the criminal justice system and give them an opportunity to become productive members of the community.

Do you need extra motivation to get involved in the BBA Reentry Education Program? Look below for insight into why you should volunteer for the program:

Michael Birch: A little support, education and knowing that the community cares can make a meaningful difference in probationers’ lives.

Anuj Khetarpal: The BBA Reentry Education Program is a valuable tool for probationers to smoothly transition back in to society. As attorneys, we have a moral obligation to better our communities, and giving probationers a fair chance at reentry is a vital way to do that. The program not only benefits the probationers, but our community as a whole, and is an important step to reduce recidivism and help those who could use an open hand.

If you are interested in reentry efforts, don’t miss the BBF’s upcoming John and Abigail Adam’s Benefit featuring this year’s honoree, Roca. Roca works to reduce recidivism and improve employment among a population of young men at high risk of reoffending in Boston, Chelsea and Springfield. Roca will be honored during the event, and the Foundation will donate $25,000 in support of Roca’s mission. Click here to learn more about the event.