Shareholder Matthew Hamermesh, vice president of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP), accepted a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for as the volunteers’ work. The CBAP assists low income, Philadelphia residents with free debt counseling and pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy representation.

Presented at the annual graduation program for Reentry Court participants, the certificate recognizes CBAP volunteers’ efforts in offering financial advice to participants in the court’s Supervision to Aid Reentry (STAR) Program (also known as Reentry Court). Reentry Court is run by Circuit Judge Felipe Restrepo and Magistrate Judge Scott Reid, and Chief Judge Sanchez presided over the graduation program.

STAR is a federal reentry court program for Philadelphia residents on supervised release from federal criminal sentences. Every two weeks, up to 20 participants appear as a group before a federal magistrate judge to report on their progress. The participants are also intensively supervised by the U.S. Probation Officer assigned to reentry court. The court and federal probation office assist with education, training, employment, financial and other needs and impose graduated sanctions when necessary. After participants successfully complete 52 weeks, they are eligible for a reduction of their supervised release period up to one year.

Here is a picture of Matt along with community partners, including CBAP volunteers, recognized at the program.