Hillary (she/her/hers) serves Minnesotans returning home from prison by providing civil legal aid and coordinating pro bono representation through the Minnesota Collaborative Justice Project.
The Minnesota Collaborative Justice Project aims to improve the experience and outcomes of formerly incarcerated Minnesotans by reducing barriers to successful reentry, including addressing their civil legal needs upon release. Unaddressed civil legal needs often create burdensome barriers to successful reentry. For example, meaningful and sustainable employment is a key factor in reducing recidivism. However, debilitating debts substantially hinder the success of clients by deterring them from participating in the formal economy. In addition, many reentering clients also need help obtaining a valid driver’s license. Reliable transportation is integral to seeking and maintaining employment; it bolsters independence and productivity while relieving stress in everyday interactions by providing accurate identification. Parental incarceration is also often an abrupt and damaging interruption to family life. Reentry provides an opportunity to reestablish parenting time and strengthen the parent-child bond, while sharing the overall responsibility of caregiving.
Hillary will promote successful reentry by offering civil legal services to formerly incarcerated individuals returning to the community in Minnesota. She will recruit pro bono lawyers and legal staff in Minnesota to provide pro bono legal services to reentry clients. She will present quarterly training programs to pro bono attorneys and empower formerly incarcerated individuals by offering triannual ‘know your rights’ programs to address the common civil legal barriers to reentry.
One tangible way I can support racial and economic justice in my city is by helping to alleviate some of my clients’ stress caused by civil legal issues. The legal work is one means to the end goal of liberation.
Hillary Richard /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow