Inland Counties Legal Services recently launched a free expungement clinic in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to help residents with certain criminal convictions through the record clearing process, and a new partnership with Mary’s Mercy Center to bring those services directly to residents in the center’s treatment facility.
Many residents have already expressed interest in participating in the program.
“This clinic and this partnership are so important for building stronger communities. Oftentimes, people with convictions on their record have trouble finding jobs and housing, which makes it hard to get back on their feet,” ICLS Pro Bono Coordinator Paulette Gray said. “Expungement can help them get their lives back.”
An expungement allows a person to reopen a prior criminal case, set aside the conviction, and dismiss the case. In many circumstances, expungement can help job applicants from disclosing convictions on applications, which is why it can be such a big deal for those in treatment or rehabilitation programs.
Anyone who is eligible can participate in ICLS’s new expungement clinic, and this partnership with Mary’s Mercy Center will allow ICLS to provide the services directly to their residents.
At Mary’s Mercy Center, this new partnership is just one piece of the equation; they provide a range of services across the board to help their clients out of poverty, from serving hot food and providing meal bags every week to offering shelters where residents can find alternatives to substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness.
Mary’s Mercy Center was founded on the belief that everyone, no matter their financial or social standing, has the right to basic human necessities. The expungement clinic helps give people the assistance they need to move towards improving their lives, so they can transition from Mary’s Mercy Center and support themselves and their families.
Both organizations are excited to see the impact this partnership will have.
“Mary’s Mercy Center is doing incredibly important work in the community, and we hope that providing expungement services at no cost to their residents will aid in their future success,” Gray said.
Currently, ICLS is hosting the following expungement clinics on a monthly basis:
- In-person: Mary’s Mercy Center, from 10am to 12pm, on the third Tuesday of each month (for Mary Mercy Center residents only).
- Virtual: 11am to 2pm, on the third Saturday of each month.
- Further Accommodations: If a regular clinic time does not work for you, ICLS can work to accommodate your schedule.
The clinic is available for free to eligible residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, however, some limitations apply. ICLS is not able to provide expungement services related to certain charges, including juvenile charges, sex crimes involving a minor, sidewalk vending, traffic tickets, and other cases where the law does not allow, and, as a nonprofit organization, ICLS has eligibility requirements.
If you are interested in learning more about ICLS’s Expungement Clinic, and seeing if you or someone you know may be eligible to participate, please visit: https://www.inlandlegal.org/get-help/expungement-clinic/.
Disclaimer: This material includes legal advertising and has been prepared for informational purposes only. Simply registering for, or attending, an expungement clinic does not automatically create an attorney-client relationship with the ICLS or any participating attorneys.
ICLS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and receives federal, state, and local county funding. Funders include the Legal Services Corporation, State Bar of California Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), State Bar of California Equal Access Funds, San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services and Riverside County Office on Aging. A full list of current funders is available upon request. See inlandlegal.org.