Photo of Jack Saletta

Jack Saletta

  • Hosted by Lawndale Christian Legal Center
  • Sponsored by Aon, Kirkland & Ellis
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

In order to promote community safety and disrupt the cyclical nature of incarceration, Jack (he/him/his) will work to expand the use of restorative justice practices as an alternative to incarceration for young people in Chicago accused of committing violent crimes.

Chicago is a city gripped by a cycle of violence rooted in a history of segregation and community divestment. Residents in the city’s most neglected neighborhoods are subject not only to a disproportionate amount of violence, but also a disproportionate amount of harm by our legal system. One neighborhood, North Lawndale, suffers from a rate of violence that is three times the city’s average and despite a population of just 35,000, North Lawndale residents account for 12% of the state’s prisoners.

Located in the neighborhood, Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC), provides holistic defense for North Lawndale juveniles and young adults accused of felonies. At the heart of LCLC’s mission is a belief in the power of community.  LCLC is committed to using restorative justice practices to repair harm and build a healthier and safer community through their clients.

Jack’s experience working in Chicago’s underserved communities motivates his commitment to fight for a system that addresses the root causes of community violence.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Jack will build on the work of LCLC by representing clients and advocating for cases to be diverted to restorative justice solutions that will be directed by highly-skilled practitioners. Additionally, he will focus on raising awareness amongst community stakeholders about the efficacy of restorative justice as a more productive way to address community violence.

Our legal system conflates punishment with accountability and destroys lives in the process. I am committed to working for a system that seeks to eliminate, rather than perpetuate, harm by recognizing the humanity of all people.

Jack Saletta /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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