The Contra Costa Reentry Project (CORE) assists the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender with its Clean Slate Unit, which works to help remove the barriers that a prior arrest or conviction can present to employment, housing, public benefits, and family reunification. CORE also assists with the Office’s Post Conviction Unit which assists incarcerated clients with re-sentencing, parole, and other types of postconviction relief.
Students in the Clean Slate Unit will assist attorneys and advocates in the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender with expungement, early termination of probation, and factual innocence relief. Students will have the opportunity to:
- Draft applications and petitions for post-conviction relief
- Work directly with clients to gather required documentation and guide clients through the post-conviction relief process
- Attend Contra Costa Clean Slate Intake events and assist with screening clients for relief eligibility, drafting personal statements, and registering voters
- Research legal topics related to post-conviction relief, including the application of new laws to current practice and discrete client work
- Observe post-conviction hearings and regularly visit the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office
Students in the Post-Conviction Unit will assist attorneys and advocates in the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender with reviewing parole hearing transcripts and strategize with clients to formulate plans to meet parole standards and re-entry goals. Students will have the opportunity to:
- Review parole transcripts and provide information to attorneys including:
- Next steps for clients who were denied parole and getting them connected with necessary programming
- Recognizing patterns in parole denials and errors in parole hearings that may be able to be raised with the DA
- Analyze various other documents to determine what type of post-conviction relief clients may be eligible for
- Review clients prison file to determine what programming they participated in and any disciplinary action they’ve been involved with
- Strategize with attorneys to develop reentry services for clients
- Potentially draft research memos on parole and post-conviction related legal issues
Supervision: Students in CORE provide legal services under the supervision of attorneys at the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender.
Time Commitment: Time commitment is 30-35 hours per semester, variable with workflow (not including transportation to/from the office).
For more information, please contact the student leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.