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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois


Decriminalizing Disabilities

Adult Issues

Attorneys in our Civil Rights Team work to protect the civil and human rights of people with disabilities as they navigate criminal court systems, while they are incarcerated and after leaving jails or prisons.

We provide legal services on these issues, and more:

  • Pushing for reform to reduce the impact of criminal systems on people with disabilities.
  • Helping people with disabilities get the accommodations they need during police interactions, in criminal court, and in jails and prisons.
  • Working to improve mental health treatment, conditions, and accessibility in jails and prisons.
  • Advocacy for early release through court proceedings from jail or sentence credit and medical release from prison.
  • Legal representation on issues that impact re-entry, including housing, employment, expungement of criminal records, and more.

Get Help Today

Please contact us by calling (312) 341-0022 or (800) 537-2632, or by completing our online intake form at

Youth Issues

The Special Education Rights Clinic’s Education Justice Project gives a range of legal help to students with disabilities who experience police contact, court involvement or incarceration, or who are at-risk of these things.

We provide the following services:

  • Give legal advice to help make sure students are getting appropriate special education services and are not expelled from school.
  • Represent families by going to IEP meetings, mediations, due process hearings and expulsion hearings.
  • Go to juvenile and criminal court hearings (detention, sentencing, status dates) and provide educational updates and mitigation.
  • Help with reenrollment in school, including from the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Put on special education trainings and technical assistance to probation officers, public defenders, state’s attorneys, parents, youth, and other groups.
  • Identify unaddressed and undiagnosed educational needs of youth in the juvenile legal system, including the impacts of exposure to trauma.

Get Help Today

Contact Cristina Kinsella at or ( 618) 984-8973

Last updated: June 23, 2023

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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