The Clean Slate practice provides free, high quality, legal services to people with criminal records and pursues local and state level policy initiatives that address the most significant challenges faced by people striving to successfully reenter society following contact with law enforcement.
Fully one in five California adults has a criminal record. A result of a failed “tough on crime” approach to criminal justice, the state is home to several million people with arrest, prosecution, and conviction records. Most have successfully completed their sentences and are striving to reintegrate into their families and communities, yet they face lingering and significant barriers to employment, housing, education, and civic participation as a result of their criminal records.
In response to this need for criminal records remedies, Clean Slate staff attorneys, paralegals, volunteer attorneys, and law students have served more than 4,500 clients since 2004. The practice has become not only the primary provider of legal services and community education on criminal records remedies in Alameda County, it has also collaborated with the courts, law enforcement agencies, private industry, and the University of California, Berkeley to examine and improve the criminal records remedies process. As a result, the Clean Slate practice has become a leading voice for criminal records policy reform at the local, regional, state, and federal levels.