Thanks to a $100,000 federal grant, juveniles with criminal records living in Pittsburgh public housing communities may have an opportunity to have those records expunged.
The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program grant made jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will allow the Duquesne University School of Law’s Juvenile Defender Clinic and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh to assist residents with juvenile record expungement.
The initiative will be led by the law school’s Assistant Clinical Professor Tiffany Sizemore-Thompson who will oversee a team of 10 student attorneys who will conduct intake interviews and provide consultation, advise and representation—all at no cost.
“We’ll do pro-bono expungement representation for people up to 24 years of age who are at risk for being evicted from public housing because of their juvenile record or who cannot get into public housing because they have a juvenile record, which excludes them from being eligible,” said Sizemore-Thompson.
“If we come across someone with an adult record, we will refer them to the law school’s Civil Rights Clinic, which works with adult expungements.”
Contrary to popular belief, said Sizemore-Thompson, juvenile court records are not automatically sealed.