Legal Resources For People in Reentry & Their Advocates
These resources help explain legal rights of and restrictions for people in reentry. We have noted the date and currentness of each document where possible. Many of these resources apply nationally, while some have a California focus.
Your Responsibility When Using the Information Provided Below:
When we put together this information, we did our best to provide you with useful and accurate information because we know that people in reentry often have difficulty obtaining legal and other useful information. The laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not always have the resources to make changes to this material every time the law changes. If you use the material in this resource center, particularly the legal resources, it is your responsibility to make sure that the law has not changed and is applicable to your situation. Most of the materials you need should be available in your local community library or in your institution's law library.
General Legal Resources:
- Advocacy Toolkits to Combat Legal Barriers Facing Individuals with Criminal Records – Legal Action Center
- Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? Know Your Rights (2007) – U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
Legal Rights on Parole & Probation:
- General Conditions of Parole and Probation (2013) – Starting Over Strong
- The Parolee Rights Handbook: Know Your Rights About Rights and Restrictions on Parole, Length of Parole, Parole Violations and Revocations, and Post-Release Community Supervision (2013) – Prison Law Office
- Parole Revocation Hearings FAQs in California (2013) – Administrative Office of the Courts
- Housing Reentry Resource Center National Housing Law Project
- Practice Tip: California Law Limits Housing Authority Access to Arrest Records - National Housing Law Project
- How Does a Criminal Record Affect Your Housing Rights? Public Housing and Section 8 Vouchers in Alameda County - National Housing Law Project
- How Does a Criminal Record Affect Your Housing Rights? Public Housing and Section 8 Vouchers in San Francisco County - National Housing Law Project
Public Benefits Rights:
- A Manual on SSI/SSDI for Prisoners and Their Advocates (2004) – Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- Public Assistance Laws Affecting Individuals with Criminal Records
Employment Rights & Discrimination:
- Root & Rebound Guide for California Employers: Hiring People with Criminal Records (July 7, 2014)
- Is it Illegal for Employers to Discriminate? (2002) – Legal Action Center (California Focus)
- Criminal Records and Employment: Protecting Yourself from Discrimination (2013) (Helpful info with NY State Focus) – Legal Action Center
- Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring (2013) – Legal Action Center
- Incarcerated Parents Manual: Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities (June 2010) – Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- The Basics of Child Support for Incarcerated Parents (2011) – Judicial Counsel of California, Administrative Office of the Courts
- Child Support Information for the Parent in Jail or Prison (2012) – California Department of Child Support Services
- A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual: Rights of Incarcerated Parents (2011) – Columbia Human Rights Law Review
- My Life Chose Me: A Young Mother's Guide to Surviving the System (2007) – Center for Young Women's Development
- Back to School: A Guide to Continuing Your Education After Prison (2010) – Prisoner Reentry Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- How Can Criminal Convictions Affect My Immigration Status? (2003) – Legal Aid Society: Click Here.
- Understanding the Immigration Consequences of Your Criminal Charges (2008) – New York State Defenders Association Immigration Defense Project: Click Here.
- A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual: Immigration and Consular Access Supplement (2011) – Columbia Human Rights Law Review
Expungement, Certificates of Rehabilitations, & Pardons:
- Getting, Reading, Correcting, and Managing Your Criminal Record – Starting Over Strong:
- Lowering Criminal Record Barriers: Certificates of Relief/Good Conduct and Record Sealing (2013) – Legal Action Center
- Quick Guide to Certificates of Rehabilitation in California (2014) – East Bay Community Law Center
- How to Apply For a Pardon in California (and explanation of Certificates of Rehabilitation) (2013) – State of California, Office of Governor Edmund C. Brown
- California Voting Rights Post-Conviction – Starting Over Strong
- Register to Vote in California
- State-by-state Voter Disenfranchisement (2014) – Brennan Center for Justice
- Root & Rebound is currently developing a comprehensive "Roadmap to Reentry, A California Guide", to be published here in April of 2015.