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Illinois Courts Awarded Second $100,000 Grant from Justice for All Project

3/30/2021

Illinois Courts Awarded Second $100,000 Grant from Justice for All Project

March 30, 2021

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts has announced that it will receive a $100,000 grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) as part of the Justice for All (JFA) Project. This is the second $100,000 grant that the Illinois Courts have received from the NCSC, with the first awarded in October 2019.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission (ATJ Commission) will use the funds to support court-based changes that will provide self-represented litigant parents and guardians with a better and more expansive understanding of the practices and procedures in family courts in order to help them better prepare for court proceedings.

“We appreciate the needed assistance these funds will provide to improve access to the users of our family courts,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “It is an honor to have been chosen for this grant.”

JFA grants, which are funded by The JPB Foundation, were created in an effort to implement two advanced resolutions: meaningful access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs and for traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to collaborate to develop a comprehensive approach to achieve meaningful access to justice. The JFA initiative is housed at the NCSC. Additionally, the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) was also instrumental in the awarding of this grant.

Pursuant to the first grant and after a comprehensive study, the ATJ Commission recently released its Final Report of Illinois Justice for All: Access to and Meaningful Participation in Family Court. The Report includes recommended improvements — from the systemic to the granular — which would make justice truly accessible to all. The report is available here.

“This JFA project has allowed us to examine in depth a very important and impactful area of law. To now be able to implement the recommendations set forth in our Report is exciting and we are thankful to the Supreme Court, AOIC, NCSC, SRLN, and JPB Foundation for their continued support of the ATJ Commission s work,” said Justice Mary K. Rochford, Chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “We are also grateful to have had the expertise and enthusiasm of the many participants who assisted in our study.”

The ATJ Commission, established in 2012 by the Illinois Supreme Court, is charged with promoting, facilitating, and enhancing equal access to justice with an emphasis on access to the Illinois civil courts for all people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.