BENEFITING: TOWER FOUNDATION OF SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
HOURS PLEDGED: 33,000
STUDENTS CHANGING LIVES, ONE PETITION AT A TIME
The San José State University (SJSU) Record Clearance Project (RCP) assists people to clear eligible criminal convictions from their records. Students and volunteers provide record clearance and mentorship services, under attorney supervision. As part of their education, students file petitions in court, advise people of their path to expungement in individual drop-in advice interviews, and give community education presentations regarding expungement law. SJSU is the only known school in the country where undergraduates provide comparable legal services.
Begun as a class project in 2008, today the program has filed 700 petitions in court with a 99% success rate. Students are diverse; two-thirds of them are the first in their families to attend college. Many go into law enforcement, law school, grad school and social services.
While 70 percent of the convictions RCP clears are over 10 years old, the consequences still interfere with jobs, housing, student loans, foster parenting and other opportunities. Getting people back to work and self-supporting nets government approximately $34,000 over three years in increased taxes and reduced public assistance, according to a Stanford Public Policy study's calculations.
Making good on the promise of equal access to the justice system by providing free legal services, the RCP CHANGES LIVES, ONE PETITION AT A TIME.