Latest Report Highlights the Justice Gap in 2017
In 1974 Congress had a vision of equal access to justice and strived to bring it into reality. That same year the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was created and has since served as the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans. In 2005, 2009 and now in 2017 the LSC released a report to update the public on the justice gap, defined as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.
While the report is grim, it might look like a bright summer day compared to what could be in store. Today, Congress does not have the same vision they did 43 years ago and may eliminate the largest legal aid funder in the country.
While CVLS does not receive LSC funding, we ARE one of those resources that the public desperately needs. When 71% of low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem last year alone, the legal aid world cannot afford to waste time and energy picking teams based on where our funding comes from. We spend all of our energy doing what we can for those in need. When one of our sister organizations is hurting, we all feel it. That is why we strongly oppose the elimination of LSC funds in the proposed 2018 federal budget. Those cuts would decimate legal aid organizations all across Illinois and would make the justice gap look more like a justice canyon.
Please take a moment to view the report and find out just how critical a strong legal aid community is to Illinois and our country as a whole.
The report can be viewed here.