A Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic will be held on Wednesday, February 15, by the Sacramento County Probation Department for adults with minor offenses on their juvenile records. The clinic, made possible by Probation’s partnership with local legal organizations and technology companies, is a monthly workshop where attorneys, paralegals, and other volunteers donate their time to assist former probationers and prepare sealing petitions.
The Sacramento County Probation Department’s Juvenile Record Sealing
Clinic program has helped more than 279 clients file petitions with the Courts to have their records sealed. In order to be eligible for the program, clients must be 18 years of age or older, have successfully completed their juvenile probation or have had their citations dismissed and have no pending civil litigation pertaining to their crimes. In addition, individuals may not have an adult felony conviction. If a petition to seal the record is granted, the record can no longer be accessed and will be destroyed after five years.
Clients who successfully have their records sealed can lawfully state they have no criminal record, which can help them obtain business licenses, gain employment, obtain a driver’s license, receive financial aid, and even acquire housing. The department currently partners with HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and DLA Piper, LLP – a global law firm – to help eligible clients file a petition.
“The services we are able to provide at the clinics through our partnership with these firms can help change the lives of our clients,” said Senior Deputy Probation Officer Catherine McCoin, who was instrumental in launching the program in 2010. “By providing this free service, our clients can move forward with a clean slate, which can open so many doors to opportunities they might not have had, otherwise.”
More than ninety percent of the petitions filed by clients who have participated in Probation’s record sealing clinics have been granted, making this program incredibly successful – an accomplishment that has not gone unnoticed. The program has since been replicated and expanded into the Bay Area. In April 2015, with input from Sacramento County Probation, a similar program was launched in San Mateo County. The following month, both programs were acknowledged for their successes when they were nominated for a Corporate Pro Bono Partner Award.
The attorneys and volunteers who participate in the program typically spend an average of four hours working on each client’s case, equating to approximately 1,116 donated hours to date. Chief Deputy Chris Johnson, who oversees the project under the department’s Juvenile Court Services
division, praises their contributions saying, “Their time and knowledge is invaluable. They have not only saved the department and clients thousands of dollars over the last six years, but they have helped so many people get a fresh start.”
For more information about the project, program eligibility, or how to apply for a juvenile record seal, visit the department’s Juvenile Record Seals