Attend the 8th Annual Brieland Visiting Scholar Lecture
Providing Powerless People With Clout: Fixing Illinois Human Services Through Litigation
Guest Lecturer: Benjamin S. Wolf, Associate Legal Director and Director of the Institutionalized Persons Project, Children’s Initiative, and Juvenile Justice Initiative, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
Attorney Benjamin S. Wolf has been the Director and chief legal counsel of the ACLU of Illinois’ Institutionalized Persons Project since 1984. The Project provides legal representation to Illinois residents of prisons, jails, mental health centers, developmental centers, government funded nursing homes and children who are wards of the state. He supervises the Project’s legal and educational work and provides legal backup on such issues for the ACLU’s lobbyist in Springfield.
Lecture Abstract: The State of Illinois has a long history of refusing to allocate sufficient resources for essential human services such as mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare. The inadequate funds that are available often are distributed based on political clout rather than evidence indicating where those limited resources would do the most
good. The lecture will explore how many of Illinois’ most powerless citizens, neglected by the elected branches of government, have turned to the courts to fix broken state agencies. Mr. Wolf, who has served as lead counsel in groundbreaking class action lawsuits challenging a broad range of state policies and programs, will describe how the blunt instrument of litigation can bring together vulnerable communities, experts and policymakers to hold elected officials accountable and trigger lasting reform.
This event is open to the public. A complimentary reception will follow the lecture.
October 15, 2014
University of Illinois School of Social Work
1010 W. Nevada Street
Auditorium, Room 2027
Urbana, IL 61801