The Bar Association’s Second Chance Project is now in its third year. As part of this pro bono project, the GBA has sponsored two free Expungement CLEs and over 100 of our members have participated in the training. The Second Chance Project seeks to train our members and encourage them to assist pro bono potential candidates for expungement who are referred to us from Renee Gabriel-Alford of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Greensboro office. Ms. Gabriel-Alford screens the candidates for eligibility by checking their statewide criminal record and then determines which County is properly suited to begin the action. She contacts the individuals and prepares the paperwork. This includes the necessary AOC forms, including the Petition to Sue as an Indigent and all necessary affidavits. Once these time intensive actions are complete, she seeks to refer these individuals to our pro bono attorneys who are ready, willing and able to assist completion of the process. The referral attorney will obtain the necessary judicial signature to start the official process and send the AOC forms to the SBI and AOC. This review will take an estimated 7 to 10 months to complete. The attorney will than schedule an appearance before the court with the client and request entry of the Expungement.
Few qualified individuals were identified in the early years of the Second Chance Project. However this is no longer the case. The City of Greensboro began its “Thrive Greensboro” initiative in 2016 with the assistance of community organizer Irving Allen and Greensboro Director of Human Relations Love Crossling. This led others to join the effort to identify qualified individuals. Most notably Gayland Oliver sponsored and event at Peeler Elementary School in the late fall of 2017. Over 350 potential candidates signed up and Ms. Gabriel-Alford began her review process. She is now ready to refer cases to members of the Greensboro Bar Association. She anticipates as many as 80 individuals will be ready for referral in the next two weeks. Her extensive efforts leading this process are recognized and complemented. But the fruits of these efforts cannot be realized without the help of GBA members who are willing to step up and take on the final steps necessary to complete the expungement process. WE NEED YOUR HELP.
This can be a life changing experience for these individuals and all capable attorneys are urged to reach out to Ms. Gabriel-Alford and volunteer. Second Chance Project Co-Chair Patrick Kane and Ms. Gabriel-Alford are working on the possibility of offering an additional (FREE) CLE training and will soon update the Bar on progress. Thanks for support and all are encouraged to assist.
To volunteer please contact: Renee Gabriel-Alford, 336-272-0148, ReneeA@legalaidnc.org.