National Seed Community: Chicago, IL

Lawndale Christian Legal Center

About the Applicant

Founded in 2010, Lawndale Christian Legal Center’s mission is to provide legal services grounded in restorative justice for youth in the Lawndale area. The Center’s vision is to raise up justly treated youth who are embraced by their families and community, restored from trauma, empowered to lead, and free from the criminal justice system. It offers criminal defense legal services, social services, and mentorship.

About the Project

The Lawndale Christian Legal Center seeks to expand their holistic legal services to serve an additional 120 boys and young men of color in the Lawndale community. The Center’s proven approach to violence prevention engages the entire community in embracing youth, ensures that they feel valued, and helps them to restore a personal pathway to opportunity. Participating boys and young men of color have experienced high levels of trauma and adverse childhood experiences; they are court- and gang-involved and have been identified by the Center’s street team as being in imminent danger of violence, incarceration, gun violence, and even death.

In 2017, Lawndale Christian Legal Center worked with 230 participants and 95 percent of them were kept from re-incarceration, 83 percent were kept from being found in violation of probation, 89 percent stayed in school, and 18 participants received their high school diploma or GED.