In the News

Jeffrey Selbin in the news:

Contra Costa County halts fees for parents of juvenile offenders

Jeffrey Selbin quoted by NBC Bay Area, Oct. 26, 2016

“These fees harm kids and families and they undermine the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system,” said Jeff Selbin, a law professor at UC Berkeley who studied the effects. The poverty law clinic at the university published an exhaustive analysis of the fees earlier this year.

Business interests hold sway on cities’ homeless policies

Jeffrey Selbin, Stephanie Campos-Bui PAC report cited by The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2016

“The more BIDs there are in a city, the more anti-homeless laws it has on the books,” the researchers found, according to a forthcoming report on the survey.

Settlement ends confiscation of homeless property, sleeping ban in Pomona

Jeffrey Selbin quoted by Daily Journal (registration required), Sept. 13, 2016

“It’s a very positive development that cities are beginning to recognize that it is costly and inconvenient to enforce laws against homeless people when at the same time they fail to provide adequate shelter to meet their basic needs,” said Jeffrey Selbin.

Pomona settles lawsuit over confiscation of homeless people’s property

Jeffrey Selbin quoted by Los Angeles Times, Sept. 11, 2016

Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice has called on federal courts to adopt the reasoning in the Jones case, but cities often sidestep the issue by enacting bans that cover only specific times of day or locations, said Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Berkeley clinic.

UC Berkeley’s Policy Advocacy Clinic aims to tackle issues concerning community

Jeffrey Selbin and Stephanie Campos-Bui in The Daily Californian, August 24, 2015

Faculty director Jeffrey Selbin wanted to address larger, systemic issues that trickle down to many of the clinic’s clients by providing students with opportunities to research and advocate for marginalized communities.

“A lot of people or families with youth involved in the juvenile justice system are more often than not people of color or living in poverty,” Campos-Bui said. “So handing bills over to kids and their parents (make them) stuck with a huge amount of debt.”

Rally and march planned to protest effort to pass new anti-homeless laws in Berkeley

Osha Neumann and Jeffrey Selbin quoted in The Berkeley Daily Planet, March 12, 2015

Osha Neumann: “Taken together with existing laws, these ordinances would essentially make it illegal for people who are homeless to have a presence on our streets and sidewalks.”

Jeffrey Selbin: “The evidence from around the state and country is quite clear: criminalizing people who are homeless doesn’t solve any of the underlying causes or conditions of homelessness; in fact, it only makes them worse. It would be inhumane, ineffective and expensive for Berkeley to double down on punitive laws that will only hurt our most vulnerable residents.”

Criminalization of homeless expensive, inhumane and ineffective, UC law team says

Jeffrey Selbin quoted in San Jose Mercury News, February 20, 2015

“Only a concerted statewide effort will end this expensive and inhumane whack-a-mole approach to homelessness,” said Jeffrey Selbin, director of the UC Berkeley School of Law Policy Advocacy Clinic.

Calif. laws increasingly target homeless, sparking calls for Right to Rest

Jeffrey Selbin quoted in Aljazeera America, February 18, 2015

“The state must decriminalize people’s life-sustaining activities conducted in public and redirect resources to proven approaches that address the root causes of homelessness and poverty.”

California is rife with laws used to harass homeless people

Jeffrey Selbin and Paul Boden write for Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2015

After homelessness began skyrocketing in the 1980s, cities responded with laws that criminalize basic life activities conducted in public like standing, sitting, resting or sleeping, and even sharing food with homeless people. As the crisis worsened in California — 22% of America’s homeless population now lives in the state — cities have piled on more and more vagrancy laws.

Should a shoplifting conviction be an indelible scarlet letter? Not in California

Jeffrey Selbin, Eliza Hersh and Keramet Reiter write for Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2014

Significantly, the clean-slate process itself — not just the outcome — appears to create a kind of status enhancement ritual, or rite of passage, helping people move from their old life into a new one. Proposition 47 takes an important step toward addressing the consequences of mass incarceration in California.

‘Clean Slate’ programs may boost future earnings, study finds

Jeffrey Selbin and Justin McCrary study cited in The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2014

[T]he Clean Slate intervention stems the earnings slide, and may even boost earnings (also independent of the economy). The data are not robust enough to say with certainty that earnings rise post-intervention—we only have 2-3 years of earnings information post-service and were able to collect earnings information on a small number of clients—but the trends are in the right direction.

Obamacare: California can use the ACA to improve its economy and people’s lives

Ann O’Leary and Jeffrey Selbin write for San Jose Mercury News, September 13, 2013

Under the ACA, California has created a health care marketplace, Covered California, where individuals and families can enroll in Medi-Cal, get financial assistance to purchase health coverage or compare private health plans. Obamacare will extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured Californians, but it also is a chance to increase participation in other safety net and work support programs.

Repo man rebuff

Jeffrey Selbin quoted in California Magazine, August 7, 2013

Selbin expressed measured optimism that consumer power is ascendant. “I don’t think it’s a straight line, but yes, I think things may be turning around,” he said. “And I think the economic recession had a lot to do with it. Three things have hit people very hard—the mortgage foreclosure crisis, the consumer debt crisis, and the educational debt crisis.”

Service delivery, resource allocation, and access to justice

Jeffrey Selbin writes for The Yale Law Journal, July 30, 2012

The Greiner and Pattanayak study coincides with a moment of crisis in American law and society, as exhibited by rising rates of poverty and inequality. This widening crisis is exacerbated by deteriorating conditions in public access to courts and legal representation. High-quality research offers a valuable opportunity to understand and improve local and institutional responses to this growing crisis.

Jeffrey Selbin Supports Debt-Collection Reform

Daily Journal, January 25, 2012 by Elisa Della-Piana, Ted Mermin and Jeffrey Selbin (registration required)

Sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris, SB 890 includes a number of commonsense measures to protect consumers from being sued on debts they don’t owe, rein in unethical debt buyer activities and reduce frivolous lawsuits.

Jeffrey Selbin Calls for Greater Access to Legal Aid

Center for American Progress, June 22, 2011 by Jeffrey Selbin, Josh Rosenthal, and Jeanne Charn

Never before have more low-income Americans needed civil legal aid. About 57 million Americans, one-third of them children, qualify for free legal help when a foreclosure notice comes, a divorce looms, or debts mount after a job loss. But half or more who seek help are turned away because legal aid providers lack sufficient resources. Tens of millions more moderate-income Americans are ineligible for free legal aid, yet lack reliable access to an affordable lawyer.

Jeffrey Selbin Slams Louisiana Legislature for Attack on Law School Clinics

Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 13, 2010 by Jeffrey Selbin (requires registration; go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article)

Under the bill, law school clinics at universities receiving state funds—regardless of whether the funds directly support the clinics—are prohibited from: filing a petition, motion or suit against a government agency; filing suit against an individual, business or government agency seeking monetary damages; and raising constitutional challenges in state or federal court (except under limited circumstances). While enumerating discrete areas of law in which clinics can continue to operate, the proposed restrictions would render impossible most forms of legal representation.

Jeff Selbin Defends Critical Role of Law School Clinics

Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 13, 2010 by Jeff Selbin (requires registration; go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article)

Why should the practicing bar care about the vitality and independence of law school clinics? First, clinics are sites of effective law student training. Second, clinics provide critical legal assistance to underrepresented clients. Finally, these periodic assaults on clinics threaten fundamental values of the legal profession and the justice system itself.

Jeffrey Selbin Defends Law and Poverty Courses

Chicago Sun Times, Sept. 28, by Jeffrey Selbin
(Link no longer active; go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article.)

“Lawyers can’t end poverty, but working with clients, community groups, policy-makers and other professionals, we can ameliorate its devastating impact on individuals, neighborhoods and our country.”