Civil Legal Clinic – Volunteer Orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moran Center is looking for volunteers (lawyers and non-lawyers) to volunteer at the School-Based Civil Legal Clinic which opens on April 4, 2018 at Chute Middle School. We will host a volunteer orientation and training session on March 22, 2018 at 7pm at Chute Middle School (1400 Oakton St., Evanston).

The orientation will provide volunteers with detailed information about the time commitment, policies and procedures for the clinic. You will also have an opportunity to see the clinical space and meet the other volunteers.

If you cannot attend the orientation, please let us know. We will be scheduling additional orientations in the future!

Please contact me with any questions.

Joan Clay
jclay@moran-center.org
224-714-0516

Moran Center Launches School-Based Civil Legal Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       March 15, 2018

MORAN CENTER ANNOUNCES OPENING OF SCHOOL-BASED CIVIL LEGAL CLINIC AT EVANSTON’S CHUTE MIDDLE SCHOOL

The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (“Moran Center”) will open a school-based civil legal clinic at Chute Middle School (“Chute”) in Evanston on April 4, 2018.  The clinic will provide free information and legal assistance on a wide variety of non-criminal topics including adoption, consumer/bankruptcy, family law, guardianship, housing, immigration, and public benefits. The Moran Center, which historically represents youth and young adults in criminal and special education proceedings, aims to “go deeper” in meeting the legal needs of families with school-aged children by launching this clinic. According to Patrick Keenan-Devlin, Moran Center’s Executive Director, “When under-resourced families experience unsafe housing, illegal eviction, or loss of public benefits, children frequently miss school, fall behind, and experience school failure. By tackling families’ civil legal issues, we can further minimize the ‘justice gap’ that puts children at risk of disengaging from school, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and even incarceration.”

The pilot civil legal clinic will be located at Chute (1400 Oak Street, Evanston) and will be open for walk-in hours every 3rd Saturday from 9:00am-1:00pm and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 4:00pm-8:00pm. Joan Clay, recently hired Moran Center staff attorney, will lead the efforts at the clinic, working closely with pro-bono attorneys, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, and partner agencies, including Metropolitan Family Services and Y.O.U., in an effort to build-up Chute as a hub of social services within the neighborhood. The Moran Center will conduct intakes at Chute, while also accepting referrals via our office phone line while the clinic is not operational. The staff attorney, as well as members of the pro bono legal team, will provide brief advice, directly refer matters to partner legal aid agencies, and/or agree to represent families. The Moran Center will additionally provide trainings to administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as families at Chute, Dawes, Oakton, and Walker in identifying common legal issues and how best to refer families to the clinic.

We will host a volunteer orientation and training session on March 22nd at 7pm. For more information about the school-based civil legal clinic at Chute, please visit moran-center.org or call Joan Clay at 847-492-1410 x201.

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Background information on the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy

The Moran Center provides free integrated legal and social work services to more than 1400 Evanston youth and their families every year. For nearly 40 years, the Moran Center has been disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline with a lifeline of innovative, holistic legal and social work programs. We believe ALL kids deserve JUSTICE in the courtroom, ACCESS to the classroom, and SUPPORT in the community. Learn more at www.moran-center.org.

Contact:
Joi-Anissa Russell
(847)492-1410
jrussell@moran-center.org

At The Polls Part 7: Early Intervention & Prevention

The Moran Center supports investment in critical prevention and intervention programs, like CCBYS (24/7 emergency services for children and youth in crisis), TeenReach (after school programming), Redeploy Illinois (last-ditch community alternatives to incarceration), and wrap-around supports for youth aging out of the child welfare system, as alternatives to the well-funded pipelines that funnel youth and young adults into systems of incarceration and institutionalization. To learn more about the importance of these interventions, please visit the Juvenile Justice Initiative.

Links to Justice In Action At The Polls Series:

Part 1: Why the Illinois midterms matter

Part 2: Voters’ Guide

Part 3: Raise the Age of Juvenile Court to 21

Part 4: 24/7 Juvenile Detention Review

Part 5: Restorative Justice

Part 6: Access to Mental Health – Medicaid Rate Reform

At The Polls Part 6: Access to Mental Health via Medicaid Rate Reform

Part 6 Access to Mental Health via Medicaid Rate Reform

The Moran Center supports building treatment capacity in the mental health sector through Medicaid Rate Reforms. Currently, Medicaid reimbursement rates for mental health services prohibit the sector from growing to meet demand, resulting in long waiting lists for therapeutic interventions, substandard discharge planning following psychiatric hospitalizations, and an over reliance on emergency rooms for non-emergent mental health care. By investing in mental health services, Illinois can prevent unaddressed mental health challenges spiraling into multiple hospitalizations, homelessness and justice system involvement. Check out Thresholds roadmap to reforming Illinois’ mental health system!

Links to Justice In Action At The Polls Series:

Part 1: Why the Illinois midterms matter

Part 2: Voters’ Guide

Part 3: Raise the Age of Juvenile Court to 21

Part 4: 24/7 Juvenile Detention Review

Part 5: Restorative Justice

At the Polls Part 5: Restorative Justice

The Moran Center supports the use of restorative justice practices and principles for children and young adults in conflict with the law. Restorative justice involves restoring the offender’s relationship with the victim, repairing the harm caused, and rehabilitating the offender. Restorative justice stands in contrast to America’s punitive criminal justice system, which has resulted in high recidivism rates, costly and harmful incarceration systems, and devastated minority communities. We are encouraged by the establishment of the Restorative Justice Community Court in North Lawndale as it represents significant promise in applying restorative justice principles within the criminal justice system. We, in fact, see Evanston as the ideal next stop for the spread of the restorative justice judicial model. Don’t you agree? To learn more about restorative justice and the efforts being promoted, please visit Lawndale Christian Legal Center and the North American Council for Juvenile Justice.

Links to Justice In Action At The Polls Series:

Part 1: Why the Illinois midterms matter

Part 2: Voters’ Guide

Part 3: Raise the Age of Juvenile Court to 21

Part 4: 24/7 Juvenile Detention Review

At the Polls Part 4: 24/7 Juvenile Detention Review

The Moran Center supports the 24/7 review of children’s detention. Currently, when a child is placed in custody, they are subject to waiting up to 40 hours before appearing before a judge. Whether a youth is detained or not has lasting ramifications for that youth’s future behavior and opportunities. Carnegie Mellon researchers have shown that incarcerating juveniles may actually interrupt and delay the normal pattern of “aging out” of offending since detention disrupts their natural engagement with families, school, and work. See Golub, A. (1990), The Termination Rate of Adult Criminal Careers. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon. By instituting a 24/7 review of children’s detention, children would be afforded the same review standard most often applied to adults in the criminal justice system. In mandating an immediate review of a child’s detention, the court provides an opportunity for children to potentially return home, where community and family-based interventions may be put in-place – supports that have consistently been proven to be more effective than detention. The Moran Center also strongly supports every child being appointed a skilled and trained attorney before and throughout a detention proceeding. Read more about this issue from our partner the Juvenile Justice Initiative!

At The Polls Part 2: Voters’ Guide

The Illinois Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, March 20th, with the polls open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. As a state with an open primary, voters do not have to declare a party affiliation in advance of the Primary Election, but instead are given the opportunity to select a party ballot at the polling station. You can enter your address at Vote Illinois to generate your personalized sample ballot!.

Evanston residents can find all voting-related details, including early voting and grace period registration (which allows you to register and vote on the same day beginning on Thursday, February 22nd and running through 7:00 PM on the Primary Election Day, Tuesday, March 20th) information on the City of Evanston website. If you live outside of Evanston, please visit the State Board of Elections for all voting-related information.

We encourage you to visit candidates’ websites, and track publications posted by our partners, like the Illinois Justice Project, in understanding candidates’ positions on criminal and youth justice issues. And, when it comes to learning about other “hot button” issues in this election, we recommend checking out the Chicago Sun Times Primary Voting Guide.

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they turn their backs to the fire and get scorched in the rear, they’ll find they have to sit on the blister.” President Abraham Lincoln.  

Don’t get scorched! Read up, get fired up, and vote!

In case you missed yesterday’s blog post:
Moran Center Justice In Action At The Polls Part 1

 

 

At The Polls Part 1: Why the Illinois midterms matter

 
Welcome to Part 1 of our midterm 2018 primary series! Over the next 20 days, we will be highlighting how the outcome of the 2018 primary elections could impact youth justice in our state and our community. Part 2 thru 9 will be posted on social media. Follow along as we “march” toward the primary…

#YouthJustice #IllinoisPrimary2018 #Midterms2018

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Please note, as a 501(c)3 organization, the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy will not be endorsing any specific candidates. The intent of our “At the Polls” series is to educate and inform the community about important issues that impact our mission and our clients. 

On March 20th, Illinois voters will have the chance to shape the direction Illinois takes by voting in the 2018 Illinois Primary Election. The primary election is important as voters will have the chance to decide who will be on the ballot on November 6 and potentially who their new Governor and Attorney General will be. Overall, this election will decide which path Illinois will follow for the next four years, and thus its importance should not be understated.

This election will not just shape the direction of Illinois, but also the work of the Moran Center, and, most importantly, the lives of our clients. The next Governor and Attorney General will be in charge of and develop numerous policies and programs regarding youth justice reform, mental health services treatment, and changes in the criminal justice system. New policies aimed at easing or toughening these measures can pave the way toward achieving our mission, or create barriers to equity and justice that hinder our work and put our clients at risk of disconnecting from our community.

Specifically, there are several issues that Moran Center supporters and youth advocates should pay attention to. Examining the degree to which candidates support programs such as Redeploy Illinois or TeenReach demonstrates how far these candidates are willing to go in changing the youth justice system. This is especially important as the Moran Center supports raising the age of juvenile court to 21, a 24/7 review of decisions to incarcerate children within a detention center, and assurance that every child has a skilled and trained attorney with them before and throughout the detention proceeding. In addition, the Moran center urges you to consider how far each candidate will go in strengthening treatment capacity in the mental health sector through Medicaid rate reform and supporting investment in critical prevention and intervention programs as children age out of childhood prevention programs. By supporting these changes and investment, candidates demonstrate their public commitment to working with the Moran Center in pursuing. Your vote can make a difference! 

 

Eligible voters must complete the online voter registration by March 4th in order to participate in the March 20th primary. Keep in mind that 17 year olds who will turn 18 before the date of the General Election are eligible to register to vote. The youth vote matters so make sure all of the young adults in your life are registered and motivated to vote. 

Patricia Gladden: A Decade of Putting Justice In Action

Pat Gladden has been involved with the Moran Center for over 10 years! After becoming exposed to the Moran Center (then called the Evanston Community Defender) in 2008 while working on a project for the Evanston Community Foundation, Pat jumped in with both feet in 2009 when she assumed the role of Board President and, in partnership with Executive Director Naria Santa Lucia, worked to evolve, grow, and modernize the little-known agency into what is currently known as the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy. Pat has continued to guide and lead the organization, serving as Board Secretary since 2013 and on the Strategic Planning Committee since 2014. Pat has never shied away from “going deep” to pursue justice.

From a young age, Pat recalls always having a strong sense of justice. As an “Army brat,” Pat’s family moved frequently and lived in far-flung places such as Taiwan and Alaska. As a young adult, she served in the Peace Corps in Chile. Inevitably, these impactful experiences shaped her ability to make astute observations, empathize with people, and embrace diversity.

After receiving her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1978, Pat spent the bulk of her career at Washington National Insurance Company, serving as Corporate Counsel, Secretary, and Vice President, and Vice President of Human Resources for the Employee Benefits Division. During this time she also worked as an attorney for the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center, handling asylum cases. After leaving the company in 1993, Pat focused her energies and legal talents on pursuing school reform and assisting families and children with guardianship issues. These pursuits, in turn, led her to the Moran Center where she fully embraced the holistic model of providing youth with integrated legal aid and social work services.

Ten years later, Pat’s enthusiasm for the Moran Center is sustained in equal parts by her passion for the mission and her respect for the staff and her fellow board members. Pat says, “I admire the staff and what they do. All of them have good hearts and care a lot about the kids, even though it can be heartbreaking work. The board is committed, easy to work with, and our time together feels like time spent with friends.”

Fellow Board Member and Treasurer, Val Weiss, works with Pat on the Strategic Planning committee, which is currently in the midst of its second strategic planning process. According to Val, “Pat is deeply engaged in the strategic planning process.  Her vast experience, thoughtful approach, and sense of humor are invaluable to our team. She makes the process fun!  We’re grateful that she’s willing to give so generously of her time.”

When asked how the Moran Center has impacted the Evanston community, Pat suggests, “As someone who has lived in Evanston off and on for 48 years, I have seen the positive feeling that people have once they become acquainted with the important work that is being done. It makes us a more caring community… Given the cruelty and disregard that we see directed toward the poor and the stranger from our current national leadership, anything we can do to help families overcome their challenges is a worthwhile pursuit.”

Pat is a life-long learner and continues to expand her horizons by travelling and taking classes. In her “free time,” Pat enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and is thrilled that two of them are currently attending Evanston schools.