Arrest records can prevent young people from getting their first jobs or qualifying for certification in certain fields. Recently, Miami Law’s Children and Youth Law Clinic educated youth on sealing and expunging arrest records at the American Bar Association’s Homeless Youth Legal Network and Youth-to-Work Resource Fair. The Fair, held at the Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services shelter for youth in crisis, was attended by homeless youth, as well as legal services and employment training providers, from all over the county.
Yiselle Seiglie and Katie Duke
Clinic Fellows, Yiselle Seiglie and Katie Duke, and Paralegal Angela Galiano worked with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to explain to youth the process for sealing and expunging arrest records. "The youth were eager to learn about how they could clear their records, and they were excited at the chance to find better jobs and have a fresh start,” said 3L Seiglie.
The Children & Youth Law Clinic provides a range of civil legal services to children in foster care and young adults who recently aged out of foster care. The Clinic assists its clients in navigating Florida’s complicated seal and expunge process. An arrest record can be a major setback for a young person, just as they are trying to gain the job skills and education that could lead to sustainable employment.
"Being able to take part in the fair was not only valuable to us, to expand our knowledge of the seal and expunge process, but it was also valuable to the youth and other organizations present, said 3L Duke. “We were able to educate them, as well as get them started right then and there with the process, so that they may be able to seek better employment and housing options.”
The clinic represents children in foster care and former foster youth in dependency, health care, mental health, disability, independent living, education, immigration and other general civil legal matters, ensuring that they have a voice in court proceedings.