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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the mission of the Office of Reentry?
    The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry’s mission is to remove the stigma and social burdens that challenge returning citizens by launching and sustaining a reentry movement. Our office will do this by funding and supporting organizations that provide comprehensive services, and supporting and monitoring opportunities needed for a successful reintegration.
  2. Where is the Office of Reentry located?
    Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry 
    4261 Fulton Parkway
    Cleveland, OH 44144

  3. Who is considered a client for reentry services?
    The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry does not provide direct services to the community, instead the office funds agencies, programs and entities working with individuals in jail, prison, or on community control, probation or parole. These entities generally serve currently incarcerated individuals, individuals under community control sanctions, juveniles, people who were formerly incarcerated and others with a range of judicial backgrounds, including arrests. A client is primarily someone returning to the community after a period of incarceration and is experiencing significant barriers in obtaining employment, education, housing or other support services, including behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.

  4. What programs and services are available in Cuyahoga County?
    The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry has partnered with Securus Foundation, an organization committed to modernizing the reentry process, to digitize Going Home to Stay, which was previously published by United Way 2-1-1. Now the guide has been re-envisioned as the Exodus Planner, which is available at The planner is a web-based platform that provides a collective group of community partners, government service providers and community members with the ability to manage mutual client cases and individual life plans. The planner also has digital, up-to-date and relevant resource, program and event sharing tools. 

  5. How can I obtain legal assistance?
    The Second Chance Legal Clinic, which was created through Second Chance Act funding, will be launched in the beginning of 2020. The clinic will provide free legal advice to returning citizens who struggle with civil issues stemming from their criminal convictions. A Case Western Reserve University School of Law professor will oversee third-year law students providing legal assistance to returning citizens. More information about the clinic will be posted on Office of Reentry website soon.
  6. What is North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center? How can I get in touch with them?
    North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center, or North Star, helps individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system navigate through barriers to becoming law abiding, contributing members of their families and communities.

    Their services include employment readiness workshops, computer training, GED classes, alcohol and substance abuse classes and support, life skills training, a community clothes closet, benefits assistance, child support modification, vouchers for state IDs and birth certificates and more. A full range of their services are located here.

    North Star
    1855 E. 55th St.
    Cleveland, OH 44103
    (216) 881-5440
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  7.  Are there advantages to employers for hiring returning citizens?
    YES! You may be eligible for a federal tax credit for each returning citizen that you hire. In addition, free bonding is available that would protect you against any claims of negligent hiring. For more information, please visit

  8. Can I get my record expunged? 
    In Ohio, records are not expunged or permanently deleted, unless you are a victim of human trafficking and you have been convicted of prostitution, solicitation, or loitering to solicit. Before a human trafficking victim’s record is expunged, they must complete an application and receive the approval of a judge in their local Court of Common Pleas – this process usually requires competent legal representation. Certain records may be sealed or stored in a separate database and cleared from public records. Records that are eligible for sealing are some juvenile records, non-violent and non-sex offenses, some misdemeanors and others. Before determining if your criminal convictions are eligible for sealing, you should do one of the following: 1) Complete and submit the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s form; 2) Follow the intake process for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland; Contact a representative from LegalWorks; or 4) Find an affordable legal representative. A complete list of ineligible offenses can be found on the Ohio Justice & Policy website or by studying the Ohio Revised Code.

    If you wish to seal your record pro se (i.e. self-representation), you should contact your county Court of Common Pleas and/or any and all local courts where you received a criminal conviction. You will need a complete list of your convictions and arrest records for a record sealing application. You also cannot have any currently pending charges or active warrants when requesting to seal your record. The cost for record sealing is generally $50 but some municipalities may charge more. Check with each court about their current filing fees and request a poverty affidavit if you unable to afford the fee. Sealing a non-conviction, acquittal, no bill or dismissed charges should always be free of charge. Please check this website for information about future record sealing training's

  9. What is a CQE? What does it do?
    A Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) removes certain legal barriers to seeking employment or obtaining an occupational license in certain fields. It also protects employers who hire a person with a CQE from liability for negligent hiring. More information about the Certificate of Qualification can be found here.