Path to Expungement Mentoring Program
Mentoring Program Overview
The Path to Expungement Mentoring Program brings people from custody to court to expunge their records. Experienced, trained mentors go to jail to meet with people who sign up for mentoring. Together they plan for the client's release to a new path, toward a new way of life.
While a person is waiting to be eligible to apply for expungement, the mentor and other RCP staff provide the support and guidance to help ease the journey. Clients begin building evidence of their commitment to moving forward with their lives.
Mentors are employees of the RCP, all of whom have had their records cleared. In addition to keeping in close contact with their clients, they refer clients to resources such as
- Drug or alcohol recovery programs
- Transportation assistance
- Employment searches and readiness
- Food and benefits (e.g., EBT cards)
- Housing and shelter searches
The Path to Expungement Mentoring Program is funded by a grant from The Health Trust.
FN learned of the Record Clearance Project (RCP) while at Elmwood county jail. During the summer of 2016, FN attended a RCP class on practical legal skills, similar to the upper division class that RCP teaches at SJSU. FN excelled academically and was a clear leader in class.
When FN heard of the Path to Expungement mentoring program, he asked for a mentor. He had struggled with drug dependency and negative influences in his community. Scheduled to be released in 2018, FN understood that the law gave him a chance to clear his record and lead a new life. He decided that this is what he wanted.
Mentor José Valle has worked with FN while in custody and through his early release to a sober living environment. When FN mentioned his interest in going to college, José connected FN to Jesus Ruelas, a counselor with experience in helping individuals with records attend college. FN applied and begins coursework in July 2017.
José will continue to support and guide FN until he is eligible to apply for expungement. The RCP will then begin preparing his expungement petitions for court, reflecting his accomplishments during and since his incarceration.
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KS was a high school dropout without a home or car when RCP mentor Jose Valle met him. He was prohibited from seeing his daughter by a restraining order put in place by the child's mother. His efforts to informally negotiate custody with the mother ended up causing him probation violations.
With Jose as his mentor, KS earned his high school diploma and participated in his school's graduation ceremony which Jose attended. KS went to family court to get an order regarding visiting his daughter. Through his church, KS found housing. He now has a job. Since KS is off probation and eligible to apply for expungement, the RCP will begin work on his court case when students return in the Fall semester.
Path to Expungement Mentoring ProgramMacQuarrie Hall 521 One Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192-0050
408-924-7374 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose Valle: email@example.com
Laura Wright: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesus Ruelas: email@example.com
More information on the mentoring program can be found here (pdf)