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First Defense Legal Aid is launching its “Be Ready” to Protect Them Campaign: What’s at Stake When Juveniles Are Alone with the Police? on October 28, 2016, at the West Side Justice Center, 601 S. California St., Chicago, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.


First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), a nonprofit organization that educates Chicagoans about how to assert their constitutional rights and mobilizes volunteer attorneys to protect those rights in CPD stations 24/7; West Side Justice Center (WSJC); and Free Write Arts and Literacy, an organization that facilitates writing & arts programming for youth in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC).  Additional sponsorship comes from the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the African American Legacy Fund, and AmeriCorps.

A panel discussion and art exhibition will mark the launch of the Englewood Street Law Corps and public service print campaign urging concerned adults to “Be Ready to Protect Them” in the face of the alarming statistic that only 1 or 2 in 1,000 juveniles in Chicago police custody have legal representation.

Moderated by Vickie Casanova Willis from FDLA and the National Conference of Black Lawyers, a panel will discuss what’s at stake when juveniles are alone with the police and how adults can best help them access their rights. Included on this panel is Aislinn Sol of Black Lives Matter Chicago; Xavier McElrath-Bey of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; Paul Williams of FDLA’s Street Law Corps; and Herschella Conyers from the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic & the Juvenile Justice Initiative.

There will also be an exhibition of art and writing by people who are or were incarcerated in the CCJTDC called Mitigating Evidence, Vol.2. The exhibit helps interrupt the presumptions, stereotypes and fears about people in detention, jail, and prison. Mitigating Evidence premiered at Chicago Art Department in September 2016 and now travels to the WSJC to become the inaugural exhibition in their newly established Movement Gallery.


Juveniles face elevated levels of vulnerability at the police station. The Chicago Defender recently reported that of the 14,994 youth arrested last year, 96% were charged with a crime but only 0.2% had a lawyer at the station! 

This number is well below the 0.6% of all Chicago arrestees who have an attorney present in the first 48-72 hours after an arrest. The overwhelming majority are African American. To combat these injustices facing Chicago’s young people, First Defense is announcing two initiatives to increase station visits to juvenile arrestees-our  new “Be Ready” public education campaign and the Englewood Street Law Corps. First Defense is still the only way for juveniles or adults to access legal representation in CPD custody, 24 hours a day, free of charge, at 1-800-LAW-REP4.


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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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