Former criminals can receive pro bono legal assistance with reducing or expunging their old criminal convictions at the Oakland Family Festival in East Oakland on Saturday afternoon.
The event from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Verdese Carter Park at 9600 Sunnyside St. is sponsored by the office of Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, Californians for Safety and Justice and the Justice Reinvestment Coalition.
It will also feature free health screenings, free bicycle repair, games for kids, including pony rides and a bouncy house, live entertainment, parenting information, a free food and clothing giveaway and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Event organizers say that Proposition 47, which was passed by the state's voters in 2014, reduced the penalty for simple drug possession and five petty theft-related crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor and allows people with old felony convictions to reduce them to misdemeanors.
Lawyers from across the country will be at the event to help people with filling out and filing applications for relief under Prop 47 and other remedies available under the law for reducing or expunging old criminal convictions.
Organizers say that since Prop 47 was passed at least 250,000 felony convictions have been reduced to misdemeanors, but estimates suggest that close to 2 million Californians are eligible for those reductions.
The opportunity to reduce old felonies to misdemeanors under Prop 47 will expire in November 2022.