Cannabis Expungement Grants FY 2020

On June 11, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation approved $1,460,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state to ensure impacted Illinoisans could access the expungement relief outlined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation was appropriated funding in 2019 to develop a cannabis expungement grants program to distribute to civil legal aid providers throughout Illinois. These organizations will educate impacted communities about available assistance, will determine eligibility for relief and will represent individuals requiring a petition and appearance before the courts.  Grantee organizations will form a network to ensure services are efficient, comprehensive and impactful.

CIVIL LEGAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS ($790,000)

Prairie State Legal Services ($290,000)

Represents communities in 36 northern and western counties including the cities of Peoria, Rockford, Waukegan, Joliet, Rock Island, Bloomington and Kankakee.


Land of Lincoln Legal Aid ($225,000)

Represents communities in 65 southern and central counties including the cities of East St Louis, Springfield, Champaign and Carbondale.


Cabrini Green Legal Aid ($70,000)

Represents justice-involved people in Cook County as well as cases in counties where the local legal aid provider has a conflict of interest.


Greater Chicago Legal Clinic ($60,000)

Represents people in Chicago and suburban Cook County.


Legal Aid Chicago ($60,000)

Represents people in Chicago and suburban Cook County.


James B Moran Center for Youth Advocacy ($30,000)

Represents Evanston residents and surrounding communities at the Skokie courthouse.


Metropolitan Family Services/Legal Aid Society ($25,000)

Serves impacted neighborhoods in Chicago through Communities Partnering for Peace (CP4P).


Catholic Charities Legal Assistance ($20,000)

Serves Cook and Lake County communities via multiple service offices.


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless ($10,000)

Advocates for and represents homeless individuals and families throughout Cook County.


LEGAL INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC GRANTS ($235,000)

Illinois Legal Aid Online ($75,000)

Provides legal information and forms statewide via a mobile accessible and ADA compliant website.


Prairie State Legal Services ($25,000)

Serves 36 northern and western counties with proposed targeted outreach in Rockford, Joliet and Peoria.


Equip for Equality ($20,000)

Educates people with disabilities on their legal rights throughout Illinois with offices in Chicago, Rock Island, Springfield and Carbondale.


Farmworker Landscaper Advocacy Project ($20,000)

Conducts outreach to workers in 24 northern and central counties on their employment rights via a partnership with the Mexican Consulate.


First Defense Legal Aid ($20,000)

Conducts street outreach and Know Your Rights presentations in coordination with community organizations in the Chicago communities of Rogers Park, Garfield Park, Englewood, West Englewood, Washington Park, Woodlawn and South Shore.


Instituto del Progreso Latino ($20,000)

Provides education services and conducts outreach to Latinx communities in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Village and Pilsen.


Alliance of Local Service Organizations ($15,000)

Conducts street outreach and Know Your Rights presentations for impacted communities in the Chicago neighborhoods of Logan Square, Humboldt Park and West Humboldt Park.


Administer Justice ($10,000)

Conducts outreach and Know Your Rights presentations across 28 community sites in Kane, DuPage, McHenry, Lake, Cook and Champaign counties.


Cabrini Green Legal Aid ($10,000)

Conducts outreach and Know Your Rights workshops in Cook County via its Leadership Council comprised of individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.


Westside Justice Center ($10,000)

Conducts outreach and Know Your Rights workshops in primarily African American communities on Chicago’s Westside, including East Garfield Park and North Lawndale.


Antmound Foundation ($5,000)

Conducts outreach and Know Your Rights presentations with impacted communities in Waukegan.


Working Family Solidarity ($5,000)

Conducts outreach and Know Your Rights presentations with Latinx and African American neighbors in the Chicago communities of Little Village, Pilsen, Lawndale, Back of the Yards, Gage Park, Englewood and West Englewood.


TELEPHONE ADVICE AND REFERRAL SERVICES ($400,000)

Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS) ($400,000)

To develop and staff a multi-channel entry point for justice-involved Illinoisans seeking relief for cannabis convictions.  Front door staff will determine individuals’ eligibility for relief, refer eligible folks to civil legal assistance network members and provide pro se guidance for those seeking to represent themselves. The entry point will connect network members via an online portal to ensure strong referral processes, track data and provide a streamlined experience for those seeking assistance.


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT ($35,000)

Cabrini Green Legal Aid ($35,000)

To provide training and legal content review for attorney and outreach network members across the state.