Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Hosted a Round Table Discussion at Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

On Monday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined in Lawndale by elected officials and juvenile justice leaders to discuss the innovative partnerships between the County and neighborhood non-profits, and the role they play in helping to give young people second chances. At Lawndale Christian Legal Center, President Preckwinkle hosted a round table discussion with Commissioner Dennis Deer, Alderman Michael Scott Jr., Cook County Public Defender’s Office’s Brandy Brixy, Chicago Public Schools administrator Elizabeth Kirby and Lawndale Legal’s Executive Director Clifford Nellis. “Lawndale Christian Legal Center is a wonderful organization that is bringing a new range of services to young people who are facing or have faced criminal charges,” Preckwinkle said. “Lawndale Christian and the Cook County Public Defender’s office have partnered to ensure that young people coming through the system are getting the best defense possible. And that work is yet another example of how the County is working hard to strengthen our support for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

These services are needed in the community and the partnership Lawndale Christian Legal Center has established with the community is phenomenal and now the community is starting to trust—and I think that’s a huge thing—that they can get good services,” Commissioner Deer said. “To have case managers who really care, legal representation that really cares, is hard to find around here, and Lawndale Legal and this partnership have really helped to fill the services gap.” Last week, President Preckwinkle celebrated the signing into law of the Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act, which eases and expands the expungement of juvenile arrest records and constitutes a major step toward a more equitable criminal justice system. The joint position between the Lawndale Christian Legal Center and the Cook County Public Defender’s office, currently held by Mr. Yannias, will play a significant role in helping implement these new juvenile record expungement rules. This means that the responsibility of this role will expand in 2018, yet its funding is in jeopardy if the federal grant is not renewed by September 30th.

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