NEWS & MEDIA CENTER
Legal aid organizations across Virginia are banding together to seek increased support for the critical services provided by their organizations. Legal aid has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn as one of the principle sources of funding, Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA), has plummeted from $4.7M to less then $700,000 over the last two years.
Listen to the NBC29 news story, here.
Click here to make a secure, tax-deductible donation to the Legal Aid Justice Center.
Since its November 17 release, "Educate Every Child" has been the focus of media attention for its examination of the high suspension and expulsion rates in Virginia and the societal toll of removing students from the educational system. The report has reinvigorated the conversation among educators, policy makers, the media, parents, and students about positive models for school discipline.
Read press coverage of "Educate Every Child":
View news stories about "Educate Every Child" here:
New Report Finds Virginia Schools’ Harsh Discipline Tactics Raise Students’ Risk of Dropping Out
A new report by the JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center finds that over 90,500 individual students were suspended or expelled from a Virginia school in 2010-2011, many of them more than once. Most suspensions were for relatively minor misbehavior, such as disorderly conduct, minor insubordination, or misuse of electronics.
The Report, entitled “Educate Every Child,” describes how everyone is adversely affected by school exclusion. The Report finds that poor behavioral climates in schools are associated with low student achievement, high dropout rates, increased contact with the juvenile justice system, and high teacher turnover. Furthermore, the Report documents that these harsh discipline policies do not improve student behavior or make schools safer.
Read the full report.
For more information, please contact Angela Ciolfi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, the Legal Aid Justice Center and Master of Ceremonies John Grisham will present Bridging the Gap, a program examining the current attacks on the social safety net, strategies to address it, and ways in which concerned community members can be involved in the debate.
Today, Virginia is facing its highest unemployment since 1982, and one in five Virginia workers earns wages low enough to place them below the poverty line. More and more middle-class families are rapidly descending into poverty as they lose their jobs, their homes, their savings and their retirement benefits.
Yet, with political discourse consumed with deficit reduction and debt ceilings, many members of congress are pointing to critical social safety net programs to make up for the budgetary shortfall. Current proposals call for cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, affordable housing, education, and many other programs on which millions of Americans depend. What is the social safety net? Why is it important for all Americans? Are there ways to balance the budget without targeting the poor, the elderly and children?
The evening’s events include the documentary Collateral Damage which examines the fallout after a critical public benefit program is cut, and a panel discussion of experts on related topics. Bridging the Gap will help shed light both on the importance of maintaining the social safety net and options for helping us change the system for the better.
Please join us for a crucial and compelling discussion. Our program will be held at the Paramount Theater on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. Private reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the program to follow at 7:00 p.m.
Please click here for more event details and sponsorship opportunities. You may also purchase your tickets online through a secure credit card transaction via Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express.
For more information regarding the public event or the private reception, please contact Susan Kruse, Donor Relations Manager, at (434) 977-0553 ext. 101, or email email@example.com.
Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Brenda Castañeda is rapidly becoming a leader in statewide consumer protection advocacy. Her most recent case challenges the repossession of a client's automobile by a car title lender.
Read the Daily Progress article about the case here.
The Legal Aid Justice Center is hiring in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia! Come make a difference as part of a team of dedicated professionals who love what they do! Click on the links below to read about our current openings.
Petersburg Community Organizer (Petersburg, Virginia)
Administrative Assistant (Charlottesville, Virginia)
Development Director/Development Officer Position (Charlottesville, Virginia)
The Legal Aid Justice Center seeks an additional $136,000 to support strategic investments in information technology by December 31, 2011. We have secured a generous “challenge grant” commitment of $64,000 from The Cabell Foundation to fund this project in our Richmond and Petersburg offices, but must secure commitments for the balance of the project expenses (relating to our Charlottesville and Falls Church offices), in order to access this pledge of support.
Specifically, this funding will allow us to acquire high quality telecommunications, case management, e-advocacy and donor engagement tools. We consider these strategic investments to be essential for improving the efficiency of our work on behalf of our low-income clients, sharing our learning with others, and reaching potential funding sources. We have recently completed several critical infrastructure improvements that will serve as the platform to build out our capacity.
If you are interested in making a gift toward this important project, please contact our Donor Relations Manager, Susan Kruse at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply donate online by clicking here.
On Wednesday, JustChildren joined forces with Families and Allies of Virginia's Youth (FAVY) and other child advocates in asking the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to halt the implementation of a new custody classification system that will result in the mass transfer of youth from one DJJ facility to another. For many youth, the transfers are likely to disrupt services and relationships with treatment providers, create barriers to reentry, and send youth backwards as they strive to meet their rehabilitation goals. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, the Board of Juvenile Justice was kept in the dark about the new policy and asked the Department to hold off on its implementation until the Board could convene a special meeting later this month to review the new system.
Read the coverage from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
"Juvenile Justice Policy Disputed," Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2010.
"Board Probes Change at Juvenile Centers," Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 9, 2010.