Jessica Jowrey

  • Hosted by Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps, Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
  • Service location Rochester, New York
  • Issue area Criminal Records Relief, Employment
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

Jessica provides legal services to economically disadvantaged individuals who face employment barriers due to their criminal record. Jessica also provides training and education to community providers who work with the re-entry population.

This project helps former criminal remove barriers to employment through things such as applications for Certificates of Relief, correcting criminal record errors, assisting with driver’s license and occupational license issues and enforcing compliance with New York’s Civil Rights Law. This project also provides outreach and training/education for human services providers to assist in re-entry work through delivering “Ask a Lawyer” presentations on employment and barrier-removal topics.

Prior to entering law school Jessica worked at a non-profit organization doing short term case management. Through this experience she saw the needs and struggles of low income communities which were largely due to limited resources. During law school Jessica interned at a variety of state, federal, and non-profit agencies including interning at New York State’s Division of Human Rights and Prisoners’ Legal Services during the same time period. This combination of experience allowed her to recognize not only the problems in the incarceration system, but also the employment problems that members of society with criminal pasts face. For those reasons, the opportunity to help break barriers to employment for people with criminal backgrounds seems like a natural transition.


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