The IEJF makes grants to provide legal assistance to low-income Illinois residents who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

Priority Areas

The IEJF grants will focus on the provision of civil legal services in disproportionately-impacted jurisdictions with the highest rates of arrest and conviction for cannabis offenses, as designated by the R3 Board by data provided through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), found at

Use of Grant Funds

Grants will be made to support direct service staff positions at eligible legal services providers, including attorneys, paralegals and/or pro bono coordinators.   Grant funds can be used to pay for salaries, benefits, and limited overhead, including administrative costs (not to exceed 10%).  The applicant must demonstrate how the proposed staff position(s) will help the organization provide efficient and effective legal assistance to persons seeking cannabis expungement. Grant funds may also be used for client costs associated with accessing cannabis expungement relief, such as criminal history reports, required court documents, or other necessary expenses to determine eligibility or file for relief.  Grant funds may also be used to conduct follow-up assessments on outcomes of direct or pro se services delivered by the organization.


In the Civil Legal Assistance category, the IEJF will only consider applications from Illinois-based not-for-profit organizations that:

  • Serve persons in one or more R3 identified disproportionately-impacted jurisdictions.
  • Have been in continuous operation for at least two years prior to the date the application is submitted to the IEJF.
  • Employ two or more full-time, licensed attorneys who provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons at the time the application is submitted to the IEJF.

 Eligible organizations may submit more than one request under this category but must submit a separate proposal for each request.

Evaluation Criteria

Grant applications in the Civil Legal Assistance category will be evaluated based on:

  • Demonstrated need for the proposed services, as reflected in the number of eligible clients in the applicant’s service area; current unmet demand; and requests for assistance from other community agencies serving the target populations.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing criminal records relief services to clients.