Expungement and Reentry Events Tripled Statewide to Honor Black August

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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New Orleans, LA. – The Justice & Accountability Center (JAC), a legal service, policy advocacy, and public education organization helping people recover from the criminal legal system, announces eleven events to honor Black August. Originating in the prison system during the 1970’s, Black August is a time for those committed to full liberation of Black people to reflect upon, and recommit to, dismantling oppression.

JAC regularly offers monthly Reentry Legal and Expungement clinics but is tripling workshops and community education this month to meet its mission to eliminate obstacles to opportunity for people harmed by the systemic racism and economic impacts of the criminal legal system. “By offering these community gathering spaces, we seek to lessen the excessive legal burdens for people with criminal records so that they may be truly free,” said Sherie Thomas, Outreach & Engagement Director. Added Executive Director, Vanessa Spinazola, “We call upon members of the Bar to engage and learn about how systemic racism fuels the criminal legal system and leverage their privileged position as attorneys to support the leadership of impacted people in making change.”

Among the events are a virtual driver’s license Know Your Rights workshop and separate in-person legal clinic in Marrero; expungement clinics in Lafayette, Houma, and New Orleans; an app-based expungement workshop in Baton Rouge; and Continuing Legal Education courses on expungement and the 2022 legislative session for pro bono attorneys. JAC held a Community Legislative Debrief with Louisiana Progress Action last Friday, which is archived on the JAC Facebook page. JAC also facilitates the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition (www.lastopsolitary.org) and welcomes those impacted by solitary confinement to join this month’s working groups focusing on changing the conditions of incarceration.

The Lafayette clinic is this Friday August 12th at 3pm at the Clifton Chenier Center Public Health Building. Expungement seekers must bring their court minutes, background check, and bill of information.

A full listing of events is available at http://www.jaclouisiana.org/events.