Blog Archives for April 2015

Virginia Corrigan (’13) Leads Successful Record Sealing Clinic for Contra Costa Youth

April 6, 2015

This is a guest blog post from Equal Justice Works’ Senior Manager of Pro Bono, Mia Sussman.

A colorful mural painted by students outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, Calif. includes inspirational phrases such as “youth leadership” and “justice equality.” Young people in this community face various challenges, including convictions that may threaten future employment and other opportunities. On February 25, young people with criminal records came to RYSE, a center that builds youth power and leadership for diverse Contra Costa youth ages 13–21, in order to obtain assistance in getting their juvenile records sealed. 

The juvenile record sealing clinic was organized by 2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow Virginia Corrigan as part of her Equal Justice Works Fellowship. Virginia is spending her two-year Fellowship at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, providing direct civil representation to incarcerated youth in Contra Costa County to protect their rights to education and health care. Virginia is also developing policy to ensure that California respects incarcerated youths’ civil rights.

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Fellow Friday: Bobby Borrelle (’13) Interrogates Race, Disability, and Discipline Practices to Ensure Equal Access to Education

April 3, 2015

This guest blog post was written by 2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow Robert (Bobby) J. Borrelle, Jr. He shares with us startling statistics about the roles of disability and race in the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and how he works to ensure that students in the Bay Area have access to quality education regardless of race or ability. Read about his innovative work, including the exciting and groundbreaking interim settlement agreement that he helped achieve along with colleagues at his host organization, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).

Disability is rarely a topic in the national School-to-Prison Pipeline conversation. But the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education suggests that we cannot break the Pipeline without a disability lens. Students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension (13 percent) than students without disabilities (6 percent). Students with disabilities represent a quarter of all students involved in a school-related arrest, even though they comprise just 12 percent of the overall student population.

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