b'REMOVING BARRIERS TO SECOND CHANCES(continued)The work were doing on these clinics is incredibly impactful. ByhousingauthoritiesplusNewHampshirecooperativesforlow-changing a persons life, youre also changing the familys life, andincome owners of manufactured housing. They also examined US the family is changing the communitys life, Nadia said. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidance, which In another major racial justice initiative, attorneys in the firmsdoesnt bar applicants with open convictions from public housing. HealthLawPracticeworkedonanextensiveresearchprojectMany of the Health Law Practice attorneys participated, including for MLPB, a nonprofit organization formerly known as Medical- almost all of the associates, a roster that included attorneys Deb Legal Partnership | Boston, that connects health care providersDaccord, Jane Haviland, Joanne Hawana, Bridgette Keller, Pamela with lawyers to work on improving the health and well-being ofKramer,LaurenMoldawer,RachelIrvingPitts,RachelYount, vulnerablepopulations.InworkingwithMLPB,theattorneysand former Mintz attorneys Daryl Berke, Michelle Caton, David researched how housing authorities across the country evaluateChorney, and Nili Yolin. Other participants included project analyst applicants with an open criminal charge, or when they have notDavid Friedman and former Mintz project analysts Margaret Jewett yet been convicted or acquitted. and Taylor Jones.This project began in the summer of 2020, as the Black Lives MatterKaren Lovitch, the Chair of the firms Health Law and Health Care movementgainedmomentum.SeveralassociatesinthefirmsEnforcement Defense Practices, said the project enabled attorneys Health Law Practice expressed a desire to get involved in a projectin her group to use their particular legal skills to contribute to the to address racial inequities. Attorney Cassie Paollilo asked Sue whatfight against racism.lawyers in that practice area could do as a group, and Sue put her inAppropriate housing is a significant social determinant of health touch with MLPB. The organizations leaders were troubled by theand helping MLPB gather in-depth information about the policies fact that many of their clients, especially individuals of color, wereofpublichousingauthoritiesdovetailedwithourinterestand unable to obtain public housing because they had open criminalcommitment to health law and the health care system, Karen said.charges, so MLPB asked Mintz to research the policies of housing authorities around the country on this issue. Over two months of intensive research, the team found that the In most cases, because those in custody or who are believed toauthoritiesonlinepoliciesaboutcriminalrecordswereoften be a risk to society are prioritized, the affected MLPB clients withoutdatedorsimplymissing.Inafewcases,attorneyswaited open drug charges can wait months or years for a court date. Theweeks for information from a housing authority. The Mintz team obstacles faced by these clients struck a chord with Cassie, whoultimately prepared a comprehensive overview memo and chart serves on the board of an organization that provides behavioralfor MLPB for their internal use. The organization will also use the health and substance use disorder treatment, and she jumped atinformation to help its health and human service partners support the chance to oversee the project. housing insecure patients with criminal records, according to the nonprofits law and policy director, Jeannine Casselman. StablehousingiscriticaltopeoplewhentheyretryingtogoDirecting the MLPB research project and learning how institutions through treatment and overcome their addictions. The issues wetreat people with criminal records inspired Cassie to volunteer at identified in this project highlighted the racial disparities amonga Mintz CORI clinic. Her work to help a client who struggled with people struggling with substance use disorder, Cassie said. substance abuse issues seal her record gave Cassie a first-hand look To give MLBP a national overview of the issue, the Mintz teamat why equitable policies on criminal records matter.looked at housing authorities in cities with a very high density ofIt was eye-opening to see the challenges people face and how all of residentsacross 10 states in different regions and with differentthese factors can compound themselves, Cassie said.politicalleanings.Theyultimatelyreviewedthepoliciesof28 20 2021'