Sky Cares Foundation, Circuit Court of Cook County to Host Historic Clean Slate Summit Benefitting Chicago's At-Risk Youth

October 3, 2018 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Chicago Sky News Release

CHICAGO - The Chicago Sky announced today that the Sky Cares Foundation presented by Magellan Corporation has joined forces with the Cook County Circuit Clerk and the Juvenile Probation Department to host the Clean Slate Summit, a first-of-its-kind youth-focused event that provides Chicago's underserved youth the necessary resources, legal guidance, and mentorship to petition to expunge their arrest and court records and be provided an equal opportunity for a successful future.

At the Clean Slate Summit, being held Oct. 27 at the XS Tennis and Education Foundation on the city's South Side, volunteer attorneys will help attendees go through the exercise of filling out petitions for expungement while providing education and information on the remaining expungement process and juvenile criminal system. It will also provide the opportunity for records to be reviewed to file petitions for automatic expungements for those eligible who have arrest records with no convictions or delinquencies. The attorneys will be allocating pro-bono legal hours and earning continuing legal education credits. The training for attorneys and law school students will be conducted at the Daly Center in the weeks leading up to the summit.

Joining the efforts for Chicago's youth will be the Secretary of State's office, providing mobile State ID cards, as well as City Colleges of Chicago, Robert Morris University, Chicago Police Department recruitment, Air Force, Marine Corps, City Year, Youth Guidance, After School Matters, Dale Carnegie leadership training, and XS Tennis. The summit itself is part of a year-long Clear Skies Initiative under the Sky Cares Foundation that includes scholarship opportunities, workforce development paths, mentoring, housing assistance, school re-entry and more.

"We are proud to be able to bring together, and work with, so many groups to provide a platform for the youth of Chicago who need and deserve an opportunity," said Chicago Sky President and CEO Adam Fox. "When young people have minor brushes with the law, it can hinder their chances of being accepted into a college, getting a job, enrolling in the military, or being able to become productive and successful members of society as adults."

Last year, the Illinois House passed Bill 3817, now Public Act 100-285, allowing Illinois' eligible youth with arrest records to have those records automatically expunged, opening a clean slate to future opportunities. A study was done in April of 2016 by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission that found for every 1,000 arrests, an average of only three juvenile youth records were expunged, including those which did not lead to convictions or findings of delinquency. The new act was passed with the intention to further expand the expungement process, with the Clean Slate Summit looking to facilitate larger numbers of petitions. Offenses not eligible for court record expungement include first-degree murder, felony sex offenses, or any Class 2 felony or higher.

"Unfortunately, many young people who are able to take advantage of the legislation, either are unaware of it, or do not have the resources to pursue it," Fox said. "This summit allows us to bridge that gap and make an immediate, long-lasting positive impact for the youth of Cook County. The Sky Cares Foundation is built on the principles of equality, fairness, empowerment, and doing the right thing - and this continuing initiative is an opportunity to further that mission."

Transportation will be provided to and from the summit for groups, as well as to workforce development and continuing education opportunities throughout the year, including a celebration at the Chicago Sky's Opening Night in May 2019 at Wintrust Arena. For additional information, or to register as a youth or volunteer for the Clean Slate Summit, visit sky.wnba.com/2018-clear-skies-initiative.

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