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Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services) taught the audience about CORI sealing last Thursday.
Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services) taught the audience about criminal record sealing at the annual CORI Training last Thursday.
Pro Bono Month officially kicked off at the BBA last Thursday with the annual CORI Training—the first of many pro bono trainings to be held at 16 Beacon this month. Our longtime readers may remember our write-up of last year’s CORI Training, but for those of you who are new to Beyond the Billable, here’s the breakdown. The BBA teams up with long-time partner Greater Boston Legal Services each year to train attorneys to seal criminal records in an effort to combat unemployment and break the cycle of poverty. This year’s panel featured Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Stephen Russo (Legal Advocacy and Resource Center), Christina Miller (Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office), and Susan Malouin (Greater Boston Legal Services). Beyond the Billable checked in with Pauline to hear what guests took away from the training. Here’s what she had to say:
What do you hope attendees learned from the training?
“Hopefully, attendees left with a basic understanding of how to seal records as well as an understanding of the devastating consequences of having a criminal record. Work is the pathway to a better life and out of poverty. CORI traps people in a cycle of unemployment, poverty and often hopelessness.”
Why should attorneys volunteer for GBLS’ CORI Program?
“CORI sealing work is racial justice work. Mass incarceration and disproportionate involvement of people of color in the criminal justice system are the new Jim Crow. The stigma related to having a criminal record has caused an epidemic of joblessness and underemployment in Boston’s predominately black communities. The destruction of life opportunities through criminal records means not only that individuals suffer, but that communities of color are pushed toward a permanent underclass in Boston. Sealing a criminal record can put an end to a person’s chronic unemployment, homelessness and inability to provide for his or her children.”
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Last week, BBA Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs Mike Avitzur headed across the street to Boston City Hall to discuss key policy issues. However, this time he was meeting with a different group of representatives—Boston teens from the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC). As you may know, the BBA is a longstanding partner of the MYC, teaming up with the City of Boston and Northeastern University. Mike was invited to lend his policy expertise to help the 85 teens who represent their Boston neighborhoods refine their policy recommendations to the Mayor. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“It was great to have a chance to talk with young people who are so interested in public policy and so engaged with trying to make a positive difference in the world around them.”
So what types of policy ideas are on the table? Here are a few of the representatives’ ideas:
Mike presented key questions to think about before their meetings with officials, such as how much will this policy cost and who are the key stakeholders who will support or oppose it? The representatives then worked to outline answers to each question and identify areas for additional research. So what’s up next? The MYC will continue to research and hone their ideas before making formal recommendations to the Mayor.
The post BBA Schools Mayor’s Youth Council on the Ins and Outs of Policy appeared first on Beyond the Billable.
Each year, the BBA teams up with GBLS to host a CORI Training. This training represents one of the many ways the BBA and GBLS partner.
This year marks Greater Boston Legal Services’ 15th year as a BBA sponsor organization. The BBA and GBLS have teamed up for years to train attorneys to take pro bono cases and recruit volunteers. Case in point – today the BBA and GBLS are joining forces to host a CORI training to help clients from Roxbury, Dorchester, and other low-income Boston communities to seal their records and break the cycle of poverty. Later this month, we will host a training for the BBA Lawyer for the Day in the Housing Court Program, and GBLS is one of the legal services organizations whose partnership makes the program possible.
However, the BBA GBLS relationship goes far beyond programs and trainings. GBLS staff members are active members of the BBA leadership and we often call upon GBLS to weigh in on challenging policy recommendations. Furthermore, the Boston Bar Foundation supports GBLS through grant funding.
But you’ve probably heard enough about our partnership from us, so we reached out to Jacquelynne Bowman, the Executive Director of GBLS, to hear more about the relationship from GBLS’ point of view. Here’s what she has to say:
“GBLS’ longstanding partnership with the BBA has had some major impacts on the delivery of legal services in the community! First, you go back to 1900 when a significant percentage of BBA council members created the Boston Legal Aid Society, GBLS’ predecessor, then journey through the years of significant support in favor of legal aid against federal funding cuts to the leadership today in supporting increased funding for legal aid all resulting in thousands of clients who would not otherwise have access to justice, getting it. BBA membership for our staff has resulted in:
We look forward to many more years of collaboration with GBLS.
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