Changing lives, one petition at a time.
The RCP is the only program in the country that engages undergraduate students in learning and using legal skills to clear people’s criminal records.
Founded at SJSU in 2008, the RCP is powered by people who recognize the harm inflicted by the criminal legal system. Since most RCP clients are people of color, this work aims to undo the discriminatory impact caused by the legal system through an anti-racist lens that seeks to empower our communities.
Why RCP Matters
Long after serving their time, RCP clients carry the consequences of past mistakes that limit jobs, housing, immigration, and more opportunities. Since many low-income people cannot afford to hire a lawyer, the RCP strives to make information and representation regarding legal rights available.
RCP students come from a diverse pool of majors and backgrounds; most are first-generation people of color. Students bring the understanding gained through RCP experience to careers ranging from probation, law enforcement, social services, tech, and government. Many consider law school as a possibility for the first time.
A Stanford analysis of RCP clients showed that clients received an annual increase of $6,190 in income post-expungement and an estimated gain for the government of $34,308 across three years. Thus not only does record clearance significantly improve the lives of individuals and their families, but it enhances the overall well-being of our communities as well.
Visit our first art exhibition “Artistic Freedom: The Liberating Art of the Formerly Incarcerated” from February 1 thru 29, 2024 at the Martin Luther King Library. Meet the artists and Record Clearance Project students and staff at a reception on Thursday, February 15 from 3 - 4 PM in room 255, Martin Luther King Library second floor.
Staff members Diana Carreras and Omar Arauza are featured in SJSU's newly designed Washington Square Magazine! Both give their perspectives on their involvement with the Record Clearance Project and explain the long-lasting impact on students and clients.
Since its establishment...
The RCP has a 99% success rate in clearing people’s records when a court hearing is required and has removed over $130,000 in court debt on clients' behalf.