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Nonprofit

Westside Justice Center

Chicago, IL | http://westsidejustice.org
Joined in April 2017

About Us

The Westside Justice Center is a community-centered organization that promotes a holistic approach to justice by: 1) Facilitating legal literacy to reduce recidivism; 2) Providing legal and quasi- legal assistance to individuals; and 3) Establishing and nurturing community trust through participatory deliberations and restorative justice practices, to collaboratively mitigate the consequences of incarceration on criminalized communities.

Formed in 2015 by a group of attorneys, community leaders and legal advocates, WJC seeks to empower and re-power individuals and communities to demand and attain accountability and greater access to systems of justice. 

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO JUSTICE:

To support individuals in achieving a promising life trajectory, WJC services assist in overcoming barriers to employment and educational gaps, gaining access to benefits and more. Our work addresses underlying socio-economic issues and racial equity, to reduce court involvement, and mitigate its grave consequences for the individual and their community. 

We believe communities who use legal and justice systems to their benefit are better able to address structural barriers and systemic injustice. Committed to sustainable change, WJC seeks to ensure the community acquires the tools to address legal and justice challenges.


WESTSIDE JUSTICE CENTER PROGRAMS:

  • Project Homecoming: To mitigate the consequences of incarceration through increased access to justice opportunities, WJC provides holistic services and supports to returning citizens and their communities via phone and in person.  
  • Before The Law - Navigating the Corridors of Justice: Staff members and volunteers support individuals in navigating social vs. legal issues, through interviews, case reviews and coaching. 
  • Know Your Rights: periodical workshops on topics such as renters’ rights, police interaction and homeowners’ training.
  • Community Advocates Project: Community Advocates are community members who support individuals and communities to access, attain, understand and act on their rights through education, teach-ins, dissemination of information, reporting and observing. The first cohort of 12 Community Advocates started working in July 2018.
  • Movement and Justice Gallery: a new venue for exhibits that engage the public in art about the criminal justice system and the systemic factors around incarceration. 
  • Justice Literacy Initiative: a partnership between WJC and Free Write Arts & Literacy, collaborating to reduce recidivism by mitigating consequences of incarceration for youth and young adults.

WJC applies a participatory, collegial, approach in all programs. We believe by creating space for individuals to participate in dialogue, conflict resolution, and restorative justice practices, individual participants develop their skills and aptitude to emerge as leaders in these exchanges, eventually enabling participants to support their peers. 

The Westside Justice Center is a community-centered organization that promotes a holistic approach to justice by: 1) Facilitating legal literacy to reduce recidivism; 2) Providing legal and quasi- legal assistance to individuals; and 3…

Issue Areas Include

  • Civic Engagement
  • Human Rights & Civil Liberties
  • Legal Assistance
  • Volunteering

Location & Contact

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