The CLiF Project Founded at Tonkon Torp
Gwen Griffith and former Tonkon Torp partner Vicki Ballou founded the CLiF (Changing Lives Forever) Project as a collaboration with Youth, Rights & Justice, a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to juvenile law. Their common goal was to help obtain registration relief for Oregonians who were adjudicated for sexual offenses as juveniles. Oregon is one of only six states in the nation that places juveniles adjudicated for a felony sex crime on the sex offender registry for life. Given the stigma and difficulty in obtaining employment or housing when someone is labeled a sex offender, critics of lifetime registration believe that permanent placement on the list is an overly harsh punishment for juvenile offenders who have been rehabilitated and pose no threat to the public. The CLiF Project provides volunteer attorneys around the state to assist low-income registrants with relief from registration. Most case referrals come from Youth, Rights & Justice, but treatment providers, probation officers, juvenile court counselors, and even the State Police also refer cases to the Project.