Jeffrey Selbin

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.