Expungement

Procedures for Expungement Referrals for GROW Participants
1. During the Jobs Skills Assessment conducted after Orientation (or at the next contact with the participants for those who already went through Orientation), Case Managers will request information from participants who have a criminal record. All participants acknowledging criminal backgrounds will be provided with a screening package which they may complete (voluntarily). They will also receive information on how to obtain a copy of their Criminal History Record (RAP sheet), including how to obtain a fee waiver. If they are interested in filing for expungement, they will be referred either to one of the agencies currently providing such no-cost assistance to our participants or to an in-house workshop, where available.
2. Case Managers will encourage participants to obtain their (Record of Arrests and Prosecution) RAP sheet. If the participants are interested, the Case Managers will assist them as follows:

  • Issue funds under Tools, if requested by participant, to obtain a fingerprint card. This can be obtained from the Sheriff Department.
  • Give participants a return appointment two weeks later to bring back their fingerprint card.
  • At the return appointment, assist participants in completing their application for a RAP sheet, and the corresponding fee waiver application.
  • Prepare a letter to verify that the participant is a General Relief recipient.
  • Mail all documents to the corresponding Court location.
3. Provide participants with information regarding what crimes can be expunged, the criteria to qualify for expungement, which forms need to be completed, where to file for expungement, etc. All this information is contained in Clearing Your Adult Criminal Record in California guidelines (copies may be obtained from GROW Program). This can be done individually or participants can be referred to a workshop, either in-house or at one of the participating legal assistance agencies (Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic, Neighborhood Legal Services, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles).
4. Those participants who appear to qualify for expungement will be encouraged to file for it as soon as possible, as this will increase their opportunities for finding employment.
5. Since filing for expungement is not mandatory, those participants who opt out will be marked as “declined to file” in the Expungement Referral Report. No other action will be needed in such cases.
6. Case Managers will assist participants who agree to file for expungement in completing their petitions, obtaining an authorization for release of information, for follow-up purposes, when appropriate. Case Managers will use the GROW site’s address as the return address on these petitions, so the results are sent back directly to the Case Manager. The Case Manager will provide a copy to the participant upon receipt. This information will be documented in the GROW case record.
7. If the participant does not want the results to be mailed to the GROW site but directly to him/her, attach a standard cover letter requesting a copy of the results be mailed to DPSS as well.
8. Case Managers will schedule participants to return two months after the filing date to follow up on the expungement filing. Participants will be asked to provide a copy of the response, unless the results were sent back to the Case Manager, in which case, the participant will be provided with a copy at the time of the appointment.
9. During the return appointment, the Case Managers will find out from the participant whether the expungement was granted, or if the participant was ineligible for expungement, or if the case is still pending. On pending cases, the Case Manager should determine whether there is anything else he/she can do to further assist the participant with the process in order to expedite it. Case Managers will follow up on the outcomes by providing participants with periodic appointments every 30 calendar days until the participant obtains the results, or until the case is terminated.
10. Another option, in order to follow-up on the participants’ expungement petitions, will be for the GROW site to contact directly the courts to find out if the expungement was granted (most courthouses will provide this information to the public and each courthouse will be able to provide an estimated time for the processing of expungement petitions at that particular courthouse). GROW sites should designate an expungement liaison who will be responsible for making the telephone contacts on all pending expungement petitions at each site.
11 Expungement liaisons will similarly contact out-of-county courts to obtain information on expungement petitions filed in other counties by their participants, when appropriate.
12. All the information on expungement results will be recorded in the Expungement Results Report form and in the GROW case record.
13. GROW sites will provide a manual count of the number of participants who report that they were able to get their records expunged every month. This report is due on the 5th calendar day following the report month.

14.

Case Managers and/or Job Developers will find out from all participants who report employment, whether they had criminal records which were expunged. A list of the participants who meet this criterion will be reported to GROW Program on the 5th calendar day of the month following the report month.

15.

Participants with criminal records that do not qualify for expungement, might be referred to the legal assistance agencies cited above for further assistance to determine if they may qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

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