Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

New Translated Materials and Free Legal Clinic Available to Help Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Understand Prop 47

New Translated Materials and Free Legal Clinic Available to Help

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Understand Prop 47

 

From left to right: Jia Jia Huang, Associate, Latham & Watkins LLP; Paul Jung, Staff Attorney, Advancing Justice - LA; Duc Ta, Sous Chef, A-Frame, Formerly Incarcerated; Hyepin Im, President/CEO, Korean Churches for Community Development

 

LOS ANGELES – Proposition 47 (“Prop 47”) is a state ballot measure passed in November 2014 that reclassifies certain low-level, non-violent felonies to misdemeanors.  Such reclassifications can improve job and housing opportunities as well as provide certain immigration protections.  However, Prop 47 only allows applications for reclassification for a limited period of time – until November 2017 – so time is running out to file a Prop 47 application. Despite many free legal clinics providing Prop 47 assistance, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) remain underrepresented among those seeking Prop 47 reclassification.

 

“Formerly incarcerated Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders may be reluctant to seek help to reclassify past crimes,” said Paul Jung, Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice-LA. “Because our cultures tend to suppress anything viewed as shameful, we believe many eligible AANHPIs are not aware of or are afraid to seek Prop 47 assistance.  Advancing Justice-LA hopes that by providing translated fact sheets on Prop 47 and providing free legal assistance to interested individuals and their families, we can help more AANHPIs understand if Prop 47 can help them.”

 

Said Hyepin Im, President and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been incarcerated have so few resources that address our community’s unique needs, whether it is assistance with Prop 47 applications or job development resources for those re-entering society.  From KCCD’s significant work in Korean and other immigrant communities, we have seen first-hand how valuable linguistically and culturally appropriate support is to the successful integration of our community members.”

 

In California, there are roughly 18,000 AANHPIs eligible for Prop 47 relief, with approximately 6,000 residing in Los Angeles County. To reach more AANHPIs about Prop 47, Advancing Justice-LA has created and translated a Prop 47 fact sheet into eight languages: Chinese, Korean, Khmer, Samoan, Tagalog, Thai, Tongan and Vietnamese.  These fact sheets are free and can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/2bLEcI5.

 

In partnership with other legal and community organizations, Advancing Justice-LA has also been hosting free legal clinics to provide legal assistance to individuals interested in Prop 47 reclassification.  The next Prop 47 legal clinic is on Thursday, August 25, from 6:30-8:00 PM in downtown Los Angeles (1145 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017). In addition to Prop 47, the clinic will also offer assistance to obtain relief under the Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program, a program that allows Californians with certain unpaid traffic or non-traffic tickets an opportunity to reduce their unpaid bail or fines up to 80 percent and to also reinstate a suspended driver’s license.  The August 25 clinic is jointly supported by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, and Korean Churches for Community Development.

 

"Free legal clinics such as the ones provided by Advancing Justice-LA rely on pro bono or volunteer lawyers to help bridge the gap for low-income and under-served populations who often cannot access quality legal services," said Jia Jia Huang, a volunteer attorney and associate at Latham & Watkins LLP. "These clinics are a great opportunity to get legal information and assistance that might otherwise be very hard to find."

 

“When men and women are released from years of incarceration, the cultural stigma and shame are suddenly magnified once they enter their respective communities,” say Duc Ta, a formerly incarcerated juvenile lifer who now works as Sous Chef at a prominent West L.A. restaurant. “These individuals are disowned by their families or otherwise pressured to suppress their past and the years of institutionalization that can’t be wiped away overnight. This could lead to frustration and depression, which can then lead to anti-social behavior and recidivism within the first three years of re-entering society. For me, the first step involves honestly assessing your situation, seeking help, and focusing on bettering yourself and your situation.”

 

For more information on the upcoming August 25 clinic and assistance, individuals can call one of Advancing Justice-LA’s in-language legal helpline:

 

Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese): 800-520-2356

Korean: 800-867-3640

Khmer: 800-867-3126

Thai: 800-914-9583

Vietnamese: 800-267-7395

Tagalog: 855-300-2552

English/Other: 888-349-9695

 

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.

 

Keyword: 
Thursday, August 18, 2016

FOR LEGAL HELP

Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employement, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
도움이 필요하십니까: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583

For any questions about DRAI, please visit: https://advancingjustice-la.org/drai.

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.