The problems associated with having a criminal record do not end with the penalties imposed by the court. Numerous collateral consequences – including the inability to secure affordable housing, obtain gainful employment, or seek higher education – often harm those with a criminal record. The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Project (JRAP) helps people with criminal records that live in or used to live in Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) public housing avoid these collateral consequences.
If you or someone in your household:
- Has a criminal record that is causing problems with housing, employment, or other issues;
- Lives in CMHA public housing, participates in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), or used to live in CMHA public housing and can no longer live in CMHA public housing due to a criminal record;
- And is under 25 years old
Then you may be eligible for assistance through JRAP.
One of the main ways that the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland helps clients who qualify for JRAP is by assisting them in filing an application to seal their criminal records. In general, a person may be eligible to seal an adult criminal conviction if they have no more than one felony conviction, two misdemeanor convictions, or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction. The law requires a person to wait three years after final disposition in the case of a felony and one year in the case of a misdemeanor before applying. A person may not have any criminal cases pending, and must have been rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the court. For more information about sealing criminal records, CLICK HERE.
Legal Aid may also be able to assist in the sealing of juvenile criminal convictions. For juvenile cases, a person must wait six months from the end of the court proceedings if under 18 years old, or at any time after turning 18 years old if no longer under an order from the juvenile court. In addition, Legal Aid may be able to assist in the sealing of adult and juvenile cases that were dismissed. For more information about sealing juvenile records, CLICK HERE. To apply for assistance through Legal Aid’s JRAP program in having your criminal record sealed or addressing other barriers you may be experiencing, please call 1-888-817-3777.
This article was written by Zachary Frye and appeared in The Alert: Volume 33, Issue 2. Click here to read a full PDF of this issue!