Crime, Legal Related

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

  • Rockford, IL
  • http://pslegal.org/

Mission Statement

The mission of Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is to ensure equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect basic human needs and enforce or uphold rights.

Main Programs

  1. Civil Legal Services
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Prairie State serves 36 counties in northern and central Illinois outside of Cook County.

ruling year

1977

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Mr. Michael O'Connor

Keywords

Self-reported

Law Legal Services Legal Aid Domestic Violence Eviction Benefits housing custody poor elderly

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Also Known As

PSLS

EIN

37-1030764

 Number

3724197743

Physical Address

303 N Main St Suite 600

Rockford, IL 61101

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Legal Services (I80)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Prairie State focuses its services on the following objectives for legal representation1. To protect eligible persons from serious risk to health or safety in those situations where a legal solution can remedy the issue. (Examples: the threatened termination of essential medical care including nursing home care, a threatened termination of essential utility services, urgent family violence cases)

 

2. To ensure that eligible persons are able to meet their basic human needs (Examples: the denial of food stamps, TANF, or Medicaid benefits, evictions, or denials of public housing, family abuse, illegal lock-outs, denials/terminations of utility services, divorces for battered women)

 

3. To enable eligible persons to preserve or obtain income or assets or benefits needed to improve their ability to meet their basic human needs or to better care for members of their household. (Examples: collection actions which threaten exempt income or assets, home foreclosures, child support problems, some bankruptcies)

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Civil Legal Services

Prairie State provides legal services in civil legal issues (non-criminal). Special projects assist elderly, persons with AIDS/HIV+, persons with disabilities, and  homeless households.

Category

Crime & Legal

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Budget

$8,499,355.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    1. To protect eligible persons from serious risk to health or safety in those situations where a legal solution can remedy the issue.
    2. To ensure that eligible persons are able to meet their basic human needs
    3. To enable eligible persons to preserve or obtain income or assets or benefits needed to improve their ability to meet their basic human needs or to better care for members of their household.
    4. To provide children with resources that will facilitate their healthy development
    5. To protect the legal rights of parents with regard to their children
    6. To enhance person’s efforts and opportunities to be self-sufficient and/or to maximize personal autonomy of persons with disabilities.
    7. To ensure low income residents have access to our system of justice.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Legal representation is provided when appropriate to protecting vulnerable persons from harm or to aid persons in meeting their basic human needs.
    In partnership with Illinois Legal Aid Online, offer online access to legal information and potential linkage to individualized legal services.
    To extent resources permit, offer individualized legal advice to enable people to avoid legal problems or solve legal problems themselves.
    Recruit, training and coordinate volunteer attorneys to expand the legal help available at no charge for low income persons.
    Work with the community to find solutions to problems.
    Recruit and train non-attorney volunteers to aid in outreach efforts and expansion of services.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The organization has an extensive training program for its staff and excellent supervision. The staff are committed to excellence in services and sensitive to the needs of our client community. We have a core of highly experienced attorneys each with more than 20 years of experience available to assist other staff attorneys in responding to client needs.

    Our telephone counseling service includes highly experienced attorneys who are experts in being legal generalists. These attorneys provide excellent legal counsel to eligible callers.

    The organization has very strong fiscal controls to ensure the fiscal health of the organization.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Over 14,000 legal matters completed each year.
    Over 90% of clients receiving legal advice report that they understood the legal advice provided.
    Over 75% of clients whose cases are resolved with legal representation in court, or negotiations or administrative hearings obtain favorable outcomes.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In calendar 2014, 15,691 matters were completed with 14880 receiving legal services. The remainder may have received referrals without legal advice or did not pursue the services requested.

    In 2014 9840 or 10,522 clients who received legal advice as the primary service reported understanding this advice (93.5%)

    2348 of the 2851 cases completed with legal representation in court, negotiations or administrative agency decisions obtained favorable results *(82%). An additional 283 cases resulted in partially favorable results (10%).
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Prairie State serves 36 counties in northern and central Illinois outside of Cook County.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

PRAIRIE STATE LEGAL SERVICES INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Michael O'Connor

BIO

Executive Director - Michael O'Connor

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Wendy Vaugh

Northern Illinois University College of Law

Term: June 2008 - Sept 2011

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?