Jeff_Adachi_mug.jpgCity and community leaders are launching a clinic in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood today that will help people with past arrests or convictions remove legal barriers that prevent them from successfully reintegrating back into society.

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Jane Kim are among those expected to attend an afternoon event to celebrate the launch of the Second Chance Reentry Clinic.

The clinic is believed to be the first of its kind in San Francisco that specifically focuses on the issue of re-entry into society after release from the criminal justice system, said Suman Murthy of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Second Chance Reentry Clinic sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month at Mo’Magic, a nonprofit located at 1294 Fillmore St., Murthy said.

Lawyers working pro bono for the clinic will assist people in removing legal barriers to employment or housing, she said.

One of the barriers that frequently arises is the revocation of a driver’s license following a conviction.

Because potential employers often ask for a driver’s license, “that can be a major challenge,” Murthy said.

San Francisco has one of the highest recidivism rates in the state, according to a report released last year by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The report found that 78.3 percent of San Francisco’s inmates were arrested or convicted again after release from prison, the third-highest rate in the state.

Today’s event is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the West Bay Community Center, located at 1290 Fillmore St.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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