This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

completed
Root & Rebound

Seek Expungement for People Who Served in California Fire Camps

Break down barriers to post-incarceration employment and education

Posted April 22, 2021

Background & Context

After incarceration, many people are highly motivated to pursue new paths in their lives. However, they face many social and legal barriers (48,000 reentry legal barriers exist across local, state, and federal laws) that impede their access to opportunities.



Root & Rebound has attorneys embedded at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), a community-based organization in LA that provides wraparound services (e.g., housing, case management, self-help groups, therapy, etc.) to its members, all of whom are formerly incarcerated.



One of ARC's key programs is the Ventura Training Center (VTC), a partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Conservation Corps (CCC) and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). VTC is an enhanced firefighter training and certification program for people who served in fire camp during their incarceration.

Immediate Problem

One key area in which people with criminal records face discrimination is access to employment, including obtaining occupational licenses. In particular, every year, thousands of people incarcerated in the California prison system receive training and volunteer to help the state fight wildfires, but the large majority have traditionally been unable to get a full-time firefighting job upon release.



Understanding the inequity in this situation, Governor Newsom signed AB 2147, which went into effect January 1, 2021. AB 2147 provides the opportunity for people who served in fire camp to apply for expungements of their convictions for which they served in fire camp.



Record-cleaning is a key part of clearing pathways to opportunities for folks who have records. It serves as very valuable rehabilitation evidence for many areas of life (e.g., family reunification, applications for higher education, employment decisions). Most clients will be VTC cadets who are formerly incarcerated, served in fire camp during their incarceration, and want to continue to pursue firefighting careers.

Work & Deliverables

Support clients in drafting a petition based on a template provided by Root & Rebound, drafting a personal declaration, and collecting / organizing other rehabilitation evidence, including letters of support and certificates through the following steps. Most support will not take more than 10 hours of work per client, over the course of approximately 3 - 4 weeks.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Review template and other materials provided by Root

Collaboration Phase

  • Introduce yourself to the client and set up a time to speak, within a week of the email introduction
  • Approximately 2 - 3 video and/or telephonic interviews with the client to gather information
  • Draft a pro per petition for an AB 2147 expungement, based on the interview and template provided
  • Draft an accurate declaration to the court in client's voice
  • Help the client update resume and/or draft a list of significant post-conviction accomplishments
  • Strategize with the client to identify people who can write them a strong letter of support
  • Determine the best way to request those letters of support
  • Work with the client to collect copies of credentials/awards obtained since conviction
  • Organize and create a table of contents of the finalized rehabilitation evidence

Wrap Up

Details to be provided at a later date

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 6-10 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: Root & Rebound will provide a AB 2147 petition, sample declarations, and guidance for developing rehabilitation evidence.
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: California
  • Required Languages: None
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Root & Rebound

Root & Rebound’s mission is to restore power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform and litigation—a model rooted in the needs and expertise of people who are directly impacted. R&R is a national reentry advocacy organization that restores and protects the rights, dignity, and opportunities of people directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Our mission is to restore power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform, and litigation — a model rooted in the needs and expertise of people who are directly impacted. R&R offers innovative legal tools, know-your-rights education, direct legal services, policy reform, and impact litigation to support formerly incarcerated people and people with conviction records to navigate barriers to employment, housing, family reunification, obtaining ID, voting rights, financial stability, and more due to their record.

Others have also checked out