Mayor Garcetti Partners with Loyola Law School to offer free legal services for formerly incarcerated Angelenos

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today joined partners at Loyola Law School to recognize the Collateral Consequences of Conviction Justice Project (CCCJP), a legal clinic that helps clients move on with their lives after incarceration.

“People should be met with forgiving hearts, open doors, and real opportunities when trying to rebuild their lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Helping men and women get the housing, employment, and education they need after incarceration is not just the right thing to do for them and their families — it’s absolutely critical to keeping our communities safe.”

First launched last year, the clinic is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Reentry and Loyola Law School. It is staffed by student advocates who represent clients needing legal assistance in such areas as employment, immigration, child support and professional licensing. The CCCJP has already handled more than 220 matters, and is supported by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and the California Community Foundation. Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures, has committed to underwriting the clinic after the first year of funding is exhausted.

Angelenos interested in the free legal services offered by CCCJP can learn more at www.lls.edu/LSJLC.

“Our clinic students work under the supervision of our faculty to represent a variety of people in our community with important, unmet legal needs,” said Michael Waterstone, Fritz B. Burns Dean, Loyola Law School. “The Loyola clinical model is exciting because it brings several clinics together under one roof on our campus, forming our own social justice law firm.”

About one in four adults in California has an arrest or conviction record, which creates significant barriers to employment. According to the National Institute of Corrections, up to 89% of ex-offenders who are re-arrested are unemployed. In California, the average recidivism rate is 65 percent — but it drops to as low as 3% for individuals who secure jobs shortly after release.

Mayor Garcetti has put a special focus on creating new opportunities for underserved populations in Los Angeles, including Angelenos who have served time in jail or prison and need help getting a new start.

The Mayor started an Office of Reentry in 2015, and quickly secured a three-year, $8.9 million contract with the California Department of Transportation for his New Roads to Second Chances Transitional Work Program — which has already enrolled nearly 400 participants with a recidivism rate of only 1.4%. The Mayor also formed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity — an alliance of private and public sector employers committed to providing opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Last summer, Los Angeles won a $6 million state Prop. 47 grant — the full amount requested by the Mayor’s Office of Reentry — to launch Project imPACT, which will offer counseling and legal support to formerly incarcerated Angelenos when it launches this spring. Mayor Garcetti has also partnered with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Parole Operations, the Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles Trade Tech, and others to host Fair Chance Hiring Fairs.