Cabrini Green Legal Aid (Chicago) (CGLA)

Provides both criminal and civil legal services in Chicago, integrated with social work support, to individuals dealing with the criminal justice system.
Link to organization

Primary geographic focus: Illinois
Organization type(s): Provider
Acronym or short name: CGLA
Tags: Expungement / Record Sealing

Since 1972, CGLA provides both criminal and civil legal services, integrated with social work support, to individuals facing barriers stemming from an encounter with the criminal justice system. We provide services in areas of acute need, including criminal records relief, defense, family and housing law. We partner with scores of law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools to tap thousands of pro bono hours that multiply our impact.

CGLA will proactively fill the void of legal representation and wraparound services for people facing negative consequences stemming from contact with the criminal justice system.

CGLA will create access to justice, opportunity, and second chances for specific underserved populations.



Difficult prison divorces easing with judge’s help

Mary Schmich
Chicago Tribune
February 12, 2016
Last May, as part of a novel program fueled by the notion of equal access to justice for everybody, Chicago judge Dickler began hearing cases from the incarcerated via a videoconference call.

News Story

Report: Illinois’ hiring protections ‘minimal’ for those with criminal records

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Chicago Tribune
April 26, 2016
A tangle of other laws restrict people with criminal records from obtaining state licenses to practice certain occupations, such as nursing.

News Story

It’s Almost Impossible for Inmates to Get a Divorce

Kim Bellware
Atlantic, The
September 1, 2017
The average prisoner has neither the power to compel transportation to court nor the money to hire an attorney. But one Chicago court may have found a fix.

News Story

Failure to record Cook County eviction court hearings leaves tenants vulnerable

Olivia Stovicek, Mari Cohen
Injustice Watch
April 25, 2018
In a court division where a family can lose its home after a two-minute trial and only 12 percent of tenants have lawyers, the lack of court transcripts—with no court reporters or digital recording equipment since 2004—has serious repercussions.


“When a woman is in crisis, you do not put them in a cage.”

Annie Sweeney
Chicago Tribune
July 18, 2018
Raised by hardworking parents who put her and her siblings in Catholic school, Payne fell victim to the rough streets of the Ida B. Wells public housing complex, where her family was forced to move after her father became ill when she was 11.

News Story

Forgiving vs. Forgetting

Eli Hager
Marshall Project
March 17, 2015
Eli Hager details civil legal aid's involvement in overcoming barriers for people with a criminal record.

This page last modified: Sat, April 25, 2015 -- 7:34 pm ET