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Access to Services

Attorney Sean Somermeyer discusses some of the legal problems individuals face after emerging from prison.

Paralegal Stacey Nelson talks about the value of having a driver's license, and why reinstating a license can be beneficial to individuals going through reentry. 

To access resources and pro bono training materials click here.  


To learn about opportunities for lawyers and legal staff to provide pro bono legal assistance click here.

Successful reentry includes access to housing, employment, legal assistance, and other vital and necessary services.


MNCJP’s Civil Legal Needs Initiative pairs pro bono attorneys and legal staff with formerly incarcerated clients to address civil legal challenges that commonly present barriers to reentry. 



Family Law: Assistance with custody and/or parenting time, divorce, and child support modification.

Why it matters: Incarceration has consequences for children, parents, and other caregivers. Reentry provides an opportunity to reestablish and address parent and child relationships that could benefit all who are involved. It is an important way to clarify and strengthen the bond between parent and child, while sharing the overall responsibility of caregiving. 

Identification:  Securing birth certificates, state identification cards and/or social security cards.

Why it matters: Having proper and accurate identification is fundamental to living a productive life. From opening a bank account, renting an apartment, to applying for a job, having proper identification is a necessary first step.   


Driver’s License:  Reinstatement of suspended or expired licenses; negotiating payment of fines. 

Why it matters:  Reliable transportation is integral to seeking and maintaining employment, a key indicator for success in reentry. It also helps individuals live productive lives, allowing them to reconnect with their families and communities. 


Consumer Credit: Debt repayment negotiations and/or bankruptcy screening. 

Why it matters: Burdensome debts substantially hinder successful reentry. It can saddle individuals returning to the community with additional stress and deter individuals from seeking legitimate employment.

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