Fresh Start Resource Fair
Date: April 22, 2023
Location: HCC-Alief Bissonnet Campus, 13803 Bissonnet St. in Southwest Houston; Harris County Precinct 4
- June 10, 2023: Venue TBD in Harris County Precinct 1
- Aug. 12, 2023: Venue TBD in Harris County Precinct 2
- Nov. 11, 2023: Venue TBD in Harris County Precinct 3
Registration opens at noon on Monday, March 27, 2023. Space is limited to 230 people.
BAYOU City Community Court
Launched in 2022, BAYOU — Bringing Assistance to You with Outreach and Understanding — City Community Court serves as the community outreach arm of the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law.
The initiative builds upon the criminal misdemeanor judges’ restorative approach to criminal justice, which aims to identify and address root causes of crime, stop the cycle of recidivism, and make the community safer in the process.
The work of the community court focuses on rehabilitative justice, as well as community education, outreach, and service.
Offered under the community court, Fresh Start helps eligible community members change their trajectory after experiences with the criminal justice system by sealing their low-level, non-violent misdemeanor criminal records and connecting them to vital support services at regular resource fairs.
Once the charges are sealed, they no longer have to be disclosed publically — on job or housing applications, for example — but can still be viewed by criminal justice agencies.
Ultimately, the second-chance program aims to help people meet their basic needs, reduce recidivism, and make communities safer. It is offered in partnership with Harris County’s Community Supervision and Corrections Department and Public Defender’s Office.
Important Fresh Start Update: You MUST pre-register online to access our criminal record sealing programs.Fresh Start is expanding to better accommodate the growing demand for misdemeanor criminal record sealing. We now offer two criminal record sealing programs:
Criminal Record Sealing: We will continue to offer full-service legal representation for the first 30 pre-registered, eligible people who check-in at our Fresh Start Resource Fair, which is held from 10 a.m. to noon.
‘DIY’ Pro Se Workshop: We also are launching a ‘DIY’ Pro Se Workshop to guide people through the process of filling out and filing their own legal paperwork. This workshop will be held immediately following the resource fair, from noon to 1:30 p.m., and has space for another 200 people.
- You MUST pre-register online to access Fresh Start criminal record sealing programs. Once all 230 spaces are filled, registration will close. Legal staff will review your criminal history and determine your eligibility prior to the event.
- If you pre-register and are deemed eligible, you still must check in with event staff to receive assistance. Your time of check-in will determine the program to which you are assigned and the order in which you are helped.
- Pre-registration opens at noon on Monday, March 27, 2023, for criminal record sealing at the Fresh Start Resource Fair on April 22, 2023. Pre-registration closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 14 -- or sooner if all 230 slots are filled.