Connecting Exonerees to the Support They Are Eligible For
The Need: Many exonerees do not use – indeed, are unaware of – the services and benefits they qualify for and which could help remove barriers to re-entry. Many exonerees and their families are not getting the health care they are eligible for, and have specific legal or bureaucratic problems that get in the way of rebuilding their lives.
What We Do:
Getting and Making Good Use of Health Care. We call exonerees, one-by-one, and work with them start-to-finish to ensure that they are getting the health care that they and their families are eligible for, whether through government programs (Medicare or Medicaid), employer-based coverage, or the health insurance Marketplace created under Obamacare. If needed, we’ll provide step-by-step enrollment help, and keep following up until coverage is in place. We also help exonerees understand what they have access to and how to make good use of it, and we remain available at any time to help resolve problems and answer questions. So far, we’ve made this assistance available to 583 exonerees across 48 states.
Recruiting Pro Bono Legal Representation. If an exoneree has a legal or bureaucratic problem that poses a barrier to re-entry - such as record expungement, restoration of rights and public benefits, landlord-tenant issues, child custody and divorce, bankruptcy or tax problems - we ensure that they have access to great legal help, pro bono wherever possible. In nearly every case, that means recruiting a local attorney with the relevant legal expertise, convincing him or her to take the case for free, and following up to ensure the case stays on track.
Leveraging Untapped Local Resources. We ensure that the exoneree is aware of whatever social services and public benefit programs he or she is eligible for, and help them make the most of it, often by making warm introductions to service providers, and advocate for the best treatment possible. We also also recruit additional local support, including social workers and mentors, to work with the exoneree pro bono.