EBCLC’s Director of Programs, Elisa Della-Piana, is featured in Berkeley Law’s story covering the report “Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California” on the need for traffic court reform.
In the News
Elisa Della-Piana, a co-author of the report and program director of the East Bay Community Law Center, said she was initially excited to hear that the courts were moving swiftly to take up the issue. However, she and others from the Western Center on Law & Poverty, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Bay Area Legal Aid said they were disappointed that the change would not deal with the broader problem of motorists who incur substantial costs after failing to appear.
Mari Castaldi discusses how the 4.6 million people that currently have a suspended license will not benefit from the proposed changes to the pay-first policy in traffic court.
East Bay Community Law Center Executive Director Tirien Steinbach says the new law, which passed in November, helps bridge a disconnect between old values and modern technology.
“People coming to our clinic want to pay but they can’t pay all at once because the fines have increased so sharply,” says Elisa Della Piana, director of programs at the East Bay Community Law Center. “They go to court and say I’ll pay you $50 a month or $100 a month but the court is saying, ‘we won’t even talk to you until you pay the full amount.’”
A deep dive into how we have been changing our laws, our police, and our courts, to treat poverty like a crime: the return of debtors’ prisons, the privatization of probation, and the reason why four million Californians have their drivers’ licenses suspended right this minute–and their numbers are growing by nearly half a million every year.
The lawyers and advocates of the East Bay Community Law Center extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Walter L. Scott, a 50-year-old African-American man recently slain by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina.
EBCLC co-authors report: Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California
It’s well-known that private background checks frequently contain misinformation. At the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, California, our Clean Slate Practice sees hundreds of clients each year who have a criminal record and are seeking employment. From a decade of experience, we know that private background checks produced by CRAs are riddled with an unacceptably high number of errors.
Statement by the East Bay Community Law Center in solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter protests in Berkeley, CA
The staff of the East Bay Community Law Center stand in solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter protests in Berkeley, CA over the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and the countless other people of color who have died at the hands of the police.