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Yolo County Manager of Operations & Strategy
(Public Information Officer)

Beth Gabor
625 Court Street, Room 202
Woodland, CA 95695
Phone: (530) 666-8042
FAX: (530) 669-4029

Award Supports Public Defender’s Record Mitigation Clinic

Post Date:07/01/2014 2:20 PM

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson announced the Yolo Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee has awarded $19,495 from the Gaming Special Distribution Fund to support the Public Defender’s Record Mitigation Clinic.

California law allows rehabilitated offenders to petition the court to expunge their past convictions, reduce their felony convictions to misdemeanors, earn early termination of probation, or seal their juvenile or arrest records. The goal of the Record Mitigation Clinic is to assist rehabilitated offenders with applications to the court for post-conviction legal remedies that serve to clear up their criminal records. The Gaming Special Distribution Funds will allow the clinic to conduct outreach and perform legal services specifically for ex-offenders who were arrested related to tribal casino operations.

“Individuals with criminal convictions face significant roadblocks to full reintegration into society,” said Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson. “Long after probation has ended or a jail term served, the presence of a conviction severely restricts access to affordable housing, public benefits and student loans and employment opportunities. Increased stability, especially in the form of employment, benefits overall public safety as studies show employment reduces the likelihood of a repeat offense.”

Further, a 2014 study conducted by Stanford University found that criminal record expungements have a positive impact on entire communities as expungements result in increased tax revenue and reduced public assistance payments.

“Financial support of the Record Mitigation Clinic will broaden access to post-conviction legal remedies and boost individuals’ ability to gain employment, reduce their chances of recidivism and increase the economic vitality of Yolo County as a whole,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Don Saylor.

“Community recognition and support, such as this award, is critical to sustaining the clinic,” said Olson. “We are gratified the Yolo Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee believes in the clinic’s mission and work.”

To find out if you are eligible for an expungement or other post-conviction legal services, please contact Hannah Labaree at the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office at (530) 666-8165.