With the support and encouragement of U.S. District
Judge Timothy Hillman and U.S. Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin, the members of
the Boston Bar Association's (BBA) 2012-2013 Public
Interest Leadership Program
announced they will develop and deliver the curriculum for a series of workshops
for federal probationers called Community Reentry Readiness.
Particularly appealing about this PILP initiative is its ability to leverage
the experience and expertise of the Boston Bar Association to help an
under-served population and also the court. The BBA has long advocated for
public policy initiatives to facilitate reentry and prevent recidivism as a key
component of criminal justice reform and public safety, and its sections are
knowledgeable about many of the civil legal issues probationers face.
Designed to identify and develop the next generation of lawyer leaders, PILP
is a highly selective 14 month program drawing applicants from an exceptionally
talented diverse group of young lawyers committed to serving the public
interest. With the support of their law firms or other legal employers, PILP
classes are expected to take on a significant public service project consistent
with the BBA's mission.
Starting on a pilot basis, the workshops will be
designed to meet the needs of probationers receiving increasing supervision
through two well established programs operating out of the Federal Court -- Court Assisted Recovery
(CARE) for those struggling with drug addiction, and Reentry: Empowering
Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows (RESTART) for those who present a
particularly high risk of recidivism.
During the course of a September discussion with the judges and then with a
group of probationers, the Public Interest Leaders identified a gap they could
fill -- providing information about recurring civil legal issues faced by
probationers participating in CARE and RESTART. For example, probationers
reported difficulties obtaining the driver's and professional licenses that they
lost while in prison and which are often essential for them to obtain
employment. They also noted confusion about the nature of their child-support
obligations during and after prison, which can affect their financial situation
upon their release.
Following a recent presentation to the BBA's governing Council, the 2012-2013
PILP Class has received the green light to develop a Community Reentry Readiness
series that will cover seven topics intended to arm the probationers with skills
to improve their chances of long term success:
Financial Literacy/Student Loans/Debt Management
Benefits Available to
Low-Income Individuals in Massachusetts
The first round of workshops is expected to take place in the spring of
For more information about the PILP program please contact Susan Helm at firstname.lastname@example.org.