Fresh Start Resource Fair

Next Event
What: Fresh Start
When: Saturday, May 11, 2024
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Harris County Jury Plaza
1201 Congress St
Downtown Houston
  • Fresh Start Criminal Record Screening and Sealing
  • Housing Rights Workshop for Landlords & Tenants
Participants who pre-register and are deemed eligible for criminal record sealing services will be emailed additional information about parking prior to the event. Remember to only park on the street within the designated area on the parking map from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Be prepared to provide your vehicle license plate to event staff at check-in. You may want to take a photo of your license plate before leaving your vehicle so you have that information readily available.

Participants should follow all parking signs and avoid parking in “No Parking Zones,” “Reserved,” or “Valet” spaces. Parking in an otherwise prohibited space or outside the designated area may result in issuance of a ticket, towing, or booting of the vehicle. The Harris County Criminal Courts at Law and its partners are not responsible for parking tickets or towed or booted vehicles.
  • BAYOU City Community Court
  • Harris County Criminal Courts at Law
Program Partners:
  • Harris County Public Defender’s Office
  • Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department
  • Harris County Criminal District Courts
  • Harris County Civil Courts at Law
  • Neighborhood Defender Service of Texas
  • Houston Apartment Association
  • Harris County Sheriff’s Office
  • Harris County Constable Pct. 1
  • City of Houston

  Upcoming Events

Aug 10, 2024
Fresh Start
Nov 9, 2024
Fresh Start
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Important Fresh Start Update: You MUST pre-register online to access our criminal record sealing programs.
Register online

Pre-registration opens at noon on Monday, April 22 for the May Fresh Start criminal record sealing event.

BAYOU City Community Court

Launched in 2022, BAYOU 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.

Fresh Start Criminal Record Screening & Sealing

Offered under the community court, Fresh Start helps eligible community members change their trajectory after experiences with the criminal justice system by sealing their eligible criminal records and connecting them various community resources at quarterly Fresh Start events.

The second-chance program aims to help people meet their basic needs, reduce recidivism, and make communities safer. It is offered in partnership with the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, Harris County Public Defender’s Office, Harris County Criminal Courts at Law, and Harris County Criminal District Courts.

Record Screening & Sealing Program Guidelines
You must pre-register online to access Fresh Start criminal record screening and sealing. Legal staff will review your criminal history and determine your eligibility prior to the event. Eligible participants must attend the coordinating Fresh Start event in person to receive assistance.

Registration for the May event begins at noon on Monday, April 22, and closes on Friday, May 3, at 4 p.m. – or sooner if all spaces are full.

Please note: Space is limited and spots often fill within a few hours. Sign up for news and updates below to receive pre-registration reminders.

Know Your Rights Housing Workshop for Landlords and Tenants*
The Know Your Rights Housing Workshop for Landlords and Tenants aims to help both landlords and tenants better understand their housing rights. The repeating, come-and-go sessions include a brief presentation and time for Q&A. Sessions will focus on topics such as contracts, expectations, landlord and tenant rights, and the eviction process.

The workshop is offered by BAYOU City Community Court in partnership with the Harris County Civil Courts at Law, Neighborhood Defender Service of Texas, and the Houston Apartment.

The housing rights workshop is walk-in only. Registration is not needed to attend.

*The information provided during the Know Your Rights Housing Workshop for Landlords and Tenants is not legal advice. Legal information is not the same as legal advice. The information provided during the workshop is not a substitute for, and does not replace, the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. You should consult a licensed attorney of your selection to ensure that the information provided during the workshop and your interpretation of it are appropriate for your particular situation. You should not and are not authorized to rely on information provided as a source of legal advice.