City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
In a press conference earlier today, Mayor Robert Garcia and City Prosecutor Doug Haubert announced a first-of-its-kind program in Long Beach, Restoration Initiative for Safety and Employment (RISE), which will provide free assistance to those who are eligible to seal their low-level misdemeanor or felony records, clear a minor warrant, enroll in court diversion programs, and convert court fines to community service. RISE will also include marijuana expungements, and assist with finding employment, educational opportunities, and providing other benefits. Among the group of press conference attendees was Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
“The consequences of a criminal conviction can extend long after a person has completed his or her sentence, and can affect a person's employment, access to government benefits, and other forms of participation in civic life,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This innovative program will provide an avenue for justice-involved individuals to get their lives back on track.”
“Our Office looks forward to partnering with local public and private organizations, such as the Long Beach Bar Association, the Long Beach Ministers Alliance, and the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office to provide assistance to eligible participants of the RISE program,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “Helping Long Beach residents looking to improve themselves and gain employment can only make our neighborhoods safer.”
“This program provides an excellent opportunity for prosecutors, police and others involved in the criminal justice system to assist people in clearing low-level criminal matters from their records, so they may change their lives through employment and education,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who leads the largest prosecuting agency in the country and has advocated for criminal justice reforms.
On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, City Council authorized $200,000 to assist with misdemeanor expungements to help people reenter the workforce. Clearing of criminal records is a key part of improving employment outcomes for persons with prior convictions.
A cornerstone of RISE will be four workshops held in the City of Long Beach starting in January 2019 where individuals can receive in-person assistance from attorneys. Year-round assistance will also be available for those with cases handled by the City Prosecutor’s Office, which has jurisdiction over all adult misdemeanor cases arising in the city, including theft, vandalism, drug possession, public intoxication, driving on a suspended license, and violation of city codes.
All assistance will be provided free of charge for qualified participants. In some cases, assistance will be limited to those with cases in Los Angeles County or within the jurisdiction of the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, which handles adult misdemeanors. Persons with specific questions about their cases may still need to consult their own attorneys.
For many years, California law has permitted the expungement (sealing) of certain felony and misdemeanor level criminal convictions. The recent passage of Proposition 64 (the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act) made many prior convictions for marijuana-related crimes eligible for dismissal or charge reduction.
Many people, however, are not aware of the laws allowing them to clear their criminal convictions. Since specific documents must be filed in court, some people without access to legal assistance have had difficulty filing the necessary paperwork to expungement their criminal convictions or completing the legal process. Those interested in learning more about the program can email RISE@longbeach.gov, or visit, or visit http://cityprosecutordoughaubert.com/community-programs/.
About Office of the City Prosecutor
The Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, led by City Prosecutor Doug Haubert, oversees all misdemeanor criminal cases in Long Beach, as well as nationally-recognized court diversion and alternative sentencing programs. As one of the highest volume municipal prosecuting agencies in America, the office handles a wide range of cases and programs. The department’s mission statement is to ethically and effectively prosecute the guilty, protect crime victims, and improve the quality of life in Long Beach. To learn more, visit: http://cityprosecutordoughaubert.com/.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/.