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PACEs Action Alliance (WA)

Resource: Civil Survival

Cival Survival banner

Please check out Civil Survival.

Their mission: Civil Survival organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.

Many resources and forms are available on their website

Here is a bit more of what you will find on their site -

Our Work

Civil Survival engages its members by conducting full-day educational Workshops followed by monthly Game Changer Group (GCG) meetings around the State of Washington. Our members are also active participants in the political process, including testifying before judges and lawmakers and helping to pass significant statewide legislation.


Our Workshops provide information and training designed to address the barriers faced by formerly incarcerated individuals. Workshops include educational content provided by Civil Survival leaders and allies, facilitated group discussions about what our participants are experiencing and advocacy training about how everyone can participate in the legislative process. This is followed by face-to-face interactions with elected officials to tell individual stories and personalize the need for legislative solutions. Workshop participants are also given the opportunity to register to vote. Experience has shown that 30% – 40% of workshop participants will register to vote at the workshop. The others are either ineligible (still on probation or parole) or already registered. Removing the barriers to reentry identified in our Workshops have become areas of focus for elected officials, union members, and allied organizations.

Civil Survival conducted eleven Workshops throughout Washington since October 2015:

405 formerly-incarcerated individuals attended
32 legislators/public officials attended
45 organization-affiliated individuals attended
120 individuals were registered to vote

Monthly Game Changer Groups

Game Changer Groups (GCG’s) are local meetings of individuals who have attended Civil Survival workshops or who are interested in the issues we address. From our experience, we anticipate that 20% of those who attend workshops will become members of their local GCG. GCG’s are led and organized by justice-involved individuals, along with friends, family and allies.  Members focus on local and state issues and set their own agenda. Civil Survival provides administrative, substantive, and financial support to the GCG’s.

Washington Free/Low Cost Legal Resources for Vacating Records

Multiple CountiesCivil Survival in the news

CLEAR Line – Northwest Justice Project

CLEAR Hotline: 1-888-201-1014
Hours: M-F 9:15 am – 12:15 pm

Legal hotline for people who are low income. Serves all counties in Washington.  Persons seeking legal help outside King County are asked to call the CLEAR hotline, or in King County dial 211, for case screening and appropriate referral to NJP local offices or other civil legal aid.

* Due to the volume of calls CLEAR receives, CLEAR sometimes experiences long wait times. We encourage people to keep trying to call during the hotline hours. If you call CLEAR repeatedly and are unable to get through, or if you have a disability and need an accommodation, please contact your local field office.*

Mark Muenster

1010 Esther Street Vancouver, WA 98660
Can provide representation for a fee of $200/hour (cases typically take less than two hours). Serves Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Pacific, and Skamania counties. Contact through website contact form is best.

Vitaliy Kertchen, Attorney at Law

Kertchen Law, PLLC
917 S 10th St. Tacoma, WA 98405
Provides representation for vacates/restorations at a flat fee that starts at $1,000 statewide. Can accommodate two or three-part monthly payment plans. For those seeking to hire, please fill out the form on the website and that will start the process for a free consultation.

Clark County

Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program

Phone: 360-695-5313
1104 Main Street, Plaza One Vancouver, WA 98660
Provides one-on-one advising appointments for records vacating with paperwork support from an attorney (guided pro se). Possible representation on a case by case basis.

King County

King County Bar Association

Intake line: 206-267-7028
Hours: M-F 9am-4pm
1200 5th Ave #700, Seattle, WA 98101
Provides free legal services to vacate eligible criminal convictions for individuals at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. Call the intake line to see if you are eligible.

Lavender Rights Project

Phone: 206-639-7955
Hours: M – F 10:00am – 5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday by appointment
2425 6th Ave S. Seattle, WA 98134
Can provide full legal representation for LGBTQ individuals seeking to vacate their records.

Pierce County


Phone: 253)-572-5134
621 Tacoma Avenue South, Suite 303, Tacoma, Washington, 98402
Walk-In Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9-4 (closed for lunch from noon-1:15 daily). Can help with civil legal issues in Pierce County when you cannot afford to hire an attorney. You do not have to be a Pierce County resident to get help with your case.

Spokane County

Center for Justice

Phone: 509-835-5211 (ask for a “Conviction Clearing Intake”)
35 West Main, Suite 300 Spokane, WA 99201
Provides affordable legal assistance with vacating adult convictions in the Spokane County court system. Cost is $200 for Vacate and Expungement Assistance and $200 for Sealing Assistance (detailed information on vouchers, scholarships and sliding scale fee arrangements on website).Cival Survival vision

Our Mission

Civil Survival organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation. We advocate for ourselves to change policies that marginalize us, in order to break cycles of incarceration and deepen community liberation.


Images (3)
  • Cival Survival vision
  • Cival Survival banner
  • Civil Survival in the news

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