Return to flip book view

2021 Annual Report

Page 1

L A W N D A L EC H R I S T I A NL E G A L C E N T E R2 0 2 1 A N N U A LR E P O R T

Page 2

As I look back at 2021, I am reminded of the words of Ecclesiastes:“For everything there is a season.” In many ways, last year was a timeto grieve and a time to hold each other close as we navigatedanother challenging year with COVID-19 and as we mourned loss inour community both from COVID-19 and from violence. But just asthe author of Ecclesiastes wrote, it was a time to grow and a time todance. In 2021, we celebrated new partnerships, expanded our work,and consistently and tirelessly met the legal and social needs ofyoung people in our community. One of the things we’re most proud of this year is the Justice Rising Coalition that welaunched with new partners. LCLC also grew by partnering with The Bail Project totransform pre-trial detention in the wake of Illinois’ new law that ends cash bail in 2023through the Community Release with Supports (CRwS) Program. A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVEDIRECTORTo the LCLC Community,Of course, none of this work would have been possible without the wisdom and leadershipof our board of directors. We are grateful for their faithfulness through every season. Norwould this work have been possible without our relentless staff whose commitment toserving our neighbors continues to inspire me, from the legal and social teams, who bringhope and healing to the clients they serve, to the staff who work behind the scenes infinance, HR, administration, and research. And finally, this work was only made possible because of YOU. Even as you yourselvesnavigated a challenging 2021, you saw it as a time to give and a time to plant seeds. Weare grateful that you chose to join us in this life-changing work, and we are excited to seehow these seeds you planted will become the harvest in the years ahead. Thank you.Very Truly Yours,Cliff Nellis, Executive Director

Page 3

"They are a good support system, evenif you don’t want to, they’ll push you todo it— pursue your goals, get a job,better yourself and your community...""...They have been like the family I’ve never had....I would have lost my housing, mykids... they have case managers that take the time to help you submitdocumentation, childcare...I love them so much!""They’re my other family. Case manager listens to me. Just having someone totalk to and listen to me and tell me “you can do this”: that’s great, that supportthat they give me."In2021,LCLCpartneredwith60Decibelstolearnmoreaboutourclient's experience working with us in addition to our own clientsatisfaction survey to make sure we are meeting the needs of ourcommunity.95%W E R E S A T I S F I E D W I T H T H ES E R V I C E S T H E Y R E C E I V E D F R O ML C L C A N D F E L T S U P P O R T E D B YL C L C S T A F F90%A G R E E D T H A T T H E Y F E L T M O R EI N D E P E N D E N T A F T E R B E I N GS E R V E D B Y L C L C A N D T H A T L C L CC O N N E C T E D T H E M T O S E R V I C E ST H A T H E L P E D T H E M A C H I E V ET H E I R G O A L S

Page 4

Justice RisingOver the last twelve years, LCLC hasproven this works in the westsidecommunity of North Lawndale, andwe are now beginning to scale thismodel across Cook County. Project 77 is Justice Rising’s firstproject to scale our community-ledholistic model of restorative justiceacross the 77 communities ofChicago from the ground up. Weexpanded out of North Lawndale forthe first time in twelve years, andhave begun new operations in threeadditional Black and Browncommunities on the westside ofChicago that, like North Lawndale,are heavily impacted by our criminallegal system. 2021HighlightsIn Fall 2021, LCLC announced the launch of our “Justice Rising” coalition. JusticeRising envisions a new community-led holistic model of restorative justice thatheals harm in local communities while meeting the social needs of the accusedin lieu of traditional system punishments of incarceration and criminal records. To scale our model of services in these communities, LCLC formed co-located partnerships with three highly respected, local community-led social service organizations that share our values and expertise inserving system-involved people in their community: (1) BUILD, Inc, inAustin, (2) Breakthrough in East Garfield Park, and (3) New LifeCenters in Little Village.

Page 5

2021HighlightsBail ReformLCLC is thrilled to be partnering with The Bail Project to link people exitingjail to services for employment, housing, mental health, substance usedisorder treatment, medical care and other social needs. The CommunityRelease with Support (CRwS) program helps clients attend future courtdates while using a needs-based approach to interrupt cycles of arrest andincarceration. We will provide those released pre-trial with assistance toensure they attend future court dates as well as provide them withconnections to social services to avoid any future contact with the criminallegal systemIllinois is the first State in the country to end cash bail. Residential Workforce Development ProgramLCLC is on its way to breaking ground on it's K-Town Facility, a 20 unitresidential workforce development program for 18-24 year old justice-involved men in North Lawndale. Safe and stable housing is essential torebuilding a life and breaking the cycle of incarceration and poverty. Thisinnovative program will provide participants with safe and stable housing,social support services, trainings, transportation, and ultimately careeropportunities with partnering unions, general contractors, and otheremployers.

Page 6

In2021,LCLCserved328youthacrossallofourprograms.Gun42%Property24.3%Drug19.3%Other6.2%Battery5.3%African American/Black98%Hispanic/Latinx2%Male89%Female11%Emerging Adult (18-24)52%Juvenile (<18)29%Adult (25+)19%Race GenderAgeCase TypeLCLC provides services for youth and emerging adults a tdifferentpointsinthecriminallegalsystem.Here'sanoverviewoftheclientsweservedin2021.

Page 7

7 in 10 clients progressed in theireducational or employment goals byearning credits toward a high schooldiploma, obtaining employment,completing a trade certification, orcompleting hard or soft skill training85%of clients with plea deals avoidedincarceration and weresentenced to probation. 4 in 5 clients who were held in pre-trialcustody and eligible for bond werereleased back to the community andhome with their families while their casewas pending. LCLC’sserviceshaveresultedinenrollmentinschool,jobtrainingand employment opportunities, access to social services, zealouslegaladvocacy,andthesuccessfulcompletionofsentencingorders.Employment29.1%Education26.8%Mental Health & SUD11.6%Mentoring10.8%Other9.5%Vital Documents3.7%Housing1.5%Linkages78% of clients were connected to a variety ofwraparound support services.

Page 8

LCLChasimplementedanewstrategicvisiontoguideus:One model led b y the Justice Rising Coalition with sixstrategic areas of impact to transform the criminal justicesystem.PublicDefense1.2.RestorativeJustice3.Pre-TrialBondLCLC’s innovative community-led model of restorative justice uses a holistic communitylawyering model in which attorneys and social service providers work side-by-side in localcommunities to protect young people's constitutional rights, address developmentalneeds, support community health and healing, and prevent further crime and violence.In 2021, LCLC served 129 youth with our holistic legal-social model leading to positive legaland social outcomes including education, employment, and the absence of a criminalfelony record. Last year, 89% of participants who were receiving services were notrearrested for a new case or technical violation.LCLC is the lead community agency for North Lawndale's Restorative Justice CommunityCourt (RJCC). The RJCC is built on the idea that healing harm is better than the traditionalsystems' focus on punishment. In partnership with the Chief Judge, LCLC’s Justice Risingcoalition envisions building our community-led model of restorative justice side-by-sidewith Restorative Justice Community Courts throughout Cook County. In 2021, LCLC served42 clients through the RJCC which includes case management, legal services, or circlekeeping.LCLC is implementing the nation’s first Community Release with Support (CRWS) programin partnership with The Bail Project. Illinois is the first state in the nation to end cash bailand LCLC’s CRWS program will show that our communities are stronger when individualsare home pending trial with robust social supports and restorative justice services.. LCLCwill begin to serve CRWS participants in Spring 2022.

Page 9

OnemodelledbytheJusticeRisingCoalitionwithsixstrategicareasofimpacttotransformthecriminaljusticesystem.5.Diversion4.Prison&Parole6.TransformingPleasLCLC is advocating to replace current prison practices and policies for youth withcommunity-based, secured facilities that keep people closer to family and community-based social supports to help young people succeed after they have completed theirincarceration. We support the work promoted by Gov. Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Stratton toshut down IDJJ prisons. Keeping youth closer to their communities and providingsupport services is essential to their wellbeing. For our clients on parole, we haveconnected 75% to medical care, housing opportunities, mental health, and job trainingresourcesFor the first time ever, criminal defense attorneys are being located within a CPD policestation. In place of traditional policing models, LCLC’s model places holistic legal-socialteams inside local Chicago police stations to provide limited legal representation andconnection to social services thereby protecting youth’s constitutional rights andadvocating for youth diversion. In 2021, 145 youth were diverted and connected to over250 external social supports and 123 youth were provided with limited legalrepresentation. LCLC’s model of restorative justice empowers communities to heal and repair harmcaused by crime by training communities in restorative justice practices. We applaudthe passage of a Restorative Justice bill last year that makes communications made bydefendants in restorative justice healing circles privileged. This has the potential tochange how we resolve cases by diverting defendants from lifelong entanglement withthe criminal justice system while also healing harm caused in the community throughrestorative justice healing circles. LCLC will offer restorative justice healing circles toadditional clients that result in victims and defendants reaching Repair of HarmAgreements instead of going to trial.

Page 10

2020 2021Contributions Grants Special Events$5,000,000 $4,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 Income Expense Net Assets2019 2020 2021$ 6M $ 4M $ 2M $ 0M  LCLC's revenue in 2020 was $3.7M. Therewas a 41% increase in LCLC's revenuebetween 2020 and 2021. In2022andbeyond,welookforwardtodeepeningourJusticeRisingcoalition,launchingourCommunityReleasewithSupportprogram,andbeginningconstructiononourK-Townsite.3YearFinancialSnapshot RevenueComparisonLCLC has exponentially grown itsfinances over the last three years as wehave expanded as an organization. 2021FinancialInformationRevenue TypeRevenueExpense TypeExpenseContribution $ 1,012,466 Program $3,657,746 Grants $ 4,131,962 Administration $853,425 Special Events $ 122,486 Fundraising $395,198 Other $ 6,330 --Total $ 5,273,244 Total$ 4,906,369

Page 11

Many of our staff members live here. They know its people,its history and its strengths. We are all deeply committed tohelping it thrive and making this neighborhood, and all ofChicago, a place where the criminal justice system isactually just.LCLCis,andhasalwaysbeen,apartoftheLawndalecommunity.I F Y O U N E E D L E G A L R E P R E S E N T A T I O N , C A L L U S .I F Y O U W O R K W I T H I N T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E S Y S T E M , J O I N U S .I F Y O U C A N V O L U N T E E R O R D O N A T E , H E L P U S .Because,whenwestandtogetherfortheseyoungpeople,wedefendtheirfutures,thecommunity’ssafetyandtheintegrityofthejusticesystem.If you need legal representation, call for anappointment. (773) 762-6381, M-F, 9a.m.-5p.m.For more information, to volunteer, donate orbecome a sponsor, connect at LCLC.net1530 S Hamlin Ave, Chicago, IL 60623Board of DirectorsJoseph Atkins, President of the Board Dr. Bruce Bonecutter, Vice President of the BoardTracie Worthy, Secretary of the BoardMark Yates, Treasurer of the BoardJames BrooksMarc KadishShawn KassermanBrent MichelWardell TateTerry Truax