Helping individuals clear up criminal records, creating opportunities for a brighter future
San Francisco – The Clean Slate Program, one of San Francisco’s first reentry programs, was started by Public Defender Jeff Adachi in 1999. Since then, Clean Slate has continued to provide legal representation to help individuals clear up their criminal records so they can restore and improve their lives. Over the past 10 years, Clean Slate has helped thousands of individuals overcome barriers to obtaining employment, housing, professional licenses, certifications and government aid.
In addition to its main office located at 555 Seventh St., near the Hall of Justice, Jeff Adachi has expanded the Clean Slate Program to include a total of four satellite offices which serve the communities in the Bay View, Sunnydale, Western Addition and Mission districts. All services are coordinated and provided by only three full time staff from the Office of the Public Defender.
Since its inception, the Clean Slate Program’s caseload has increased dramatically and currently handles over 3,000 cases each year. An independent evaluation of the Clean Slate program conducted by LFA Group in 2009 found that “90 percent of the motions Clean Slate staff pursue on their clients’ behalf are granted in court.” Additionally, “when the motions pursued by Clean Slate are granted in court, many barriers to clients’ self-sufficiency are lifted, opening more pathways to achieving individual socio-economic goals. As a direct result of the legal outcomes achieved by Clean Slate, clients experience increased employability, housing eligibility, improvements in immigration status and improvement in their sense of self-worth.”
The Clean Slate program received the Managerial Excellence Team Award from the Mayor’s Fiscal Advisory Committee in 2005 and was chosen as Program of the Year by the statewide California Public Defenders’ Association in 2006.
“This is an opportunity to thank all of the community leaders and agencies who have helped to make the Clean Slate program a success and to recognize the individuals who have made positive changes in their lives and are now role models for others,” said Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender. “This celebration is really for the community,” said Simin Shamji, director of Specialty Courts and Reentry Services.
“Clean Slate is here to serve anyone who needs help with clearing their criminal record. I hope everyone will attend this event to celebrate the good work of this program and to honor those members of the community without whom it would not have been possible.”