Jane targeted the needs of victims aged 60 and older who live in Indiana counties that have been designated as “mostly” or “completely” rural.
Seniors residing in rural areas may struggle to obtain access to justice and services due to health issues, lack of transportation, lack of readily available resources, or lack of knowledge as to how to navigate the oftentimes complex legal system. Through a combination of advocacy and education, this project seeks to eliminate or ease the negative effects of elder abuse. Social services that may be used to assist senior victims will be identified and utilized for the project’s clients. This Fellowship gave Jane the opportunity to directly assist seniors by working hand-in-hand with them to ascertain what they needed and wanted, and to empower them with knowledge so they could active participants rather than a passive recipients.
Jane came to this project having worked for years as a deputy prosecuting attorney and assistant district attorney in Indiana and New Mexico. She specialized in the prosecution of domestic violence, sex crimes, and crimes against children and remains dedicated to seeking justice for the most vulnerable victims in society. While practicing in New Mexico, she became acutely aware of the problems unique to elderly victims living in remote areas of the state.
Jane’s project provided civil legal representation to seniors residing in rural areas who are victims of criminal acts such as domestic violence, sexual assault, neglect, or financial exploitation. The project also presented free law-related education and proactive programming to seniors, as well as training for professionals and community members regarding the identification of crimes against the elderly and other relevant topics. Jane conducted outreach and established relationships with organizations and individuals state and nation-wide to create a comprehensive network of resources that support and assist victims.
Carolyn’s Fellowship reached underserved immigrant and limited English proficient populations within Indiana by providing direct legal services and conducting outreach around the state. Carolyn’s fellowship addressed many community needs. She provided direct representation to immigrant victims of crimes, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, and represented clients in immigration and administrative proceedings including applying for continued presence, U-Visas, and T-Visas, offering advice and referrals to immigrant clients in domestic violence cases, and connecting victims to social services and other assistance.
Carolyn’s experience and community service since law school are a reflection of her goals to help vulnerable, low-income individuals. Practicing at non-profit organizations, her international background from studies abroad, and her passion for this type of work made Carolyn the right person for this Fellowship.
Jennifer was a legal advocate for the East Central Illinois Medical-Legal Partnership. Land of Lincoln has a partnership with Carle Foundation Hospital. Jennifer received referrals from social workers and other medical professionals at Carle regarding a variety of issues. Also, Jennifer conducted telephone intakes on any referral that she received and offered advice. Additionally, Jennifer directly worked on any referred cases dealing with public benefits, such as Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps and General Assistance. Finally, Jennifer assisted clients who are having problems with medical debt.