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Community Outreach

The U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois formed the Joint Community Outreach Committee (“Committee”) in 2002.

The mission of the Committee is to educate the community about the district’s functions and to encourage and facilitate community involvement. Most importantly, the program encourages employees to become more aware of the needs and issues of the district to help improve the quality of life for the residents in the area.

Fundraisers are held in our offices throughout the year so that financial donations can continue. Previous outreach projects include:

  • Supporting summer food projects;
  • Providing school supplies to elementary aged children;
  • Making blankets and collecting stuffed animals for victims of house fires;
  • Providing financial support to communities after natural disasters;
  • Working in local libraries as tutors and volunteer support personnel;
  • Fulfilling holiday wish lists for local children;
  • Stocking local food pantries;
  • Providing funding for limb different and adaptive sport camps;
  • Coordinating blood drives; and,
  • Revamping playground equipment for an after-school activity center.

An ongoing Committee project is the Court Assisted Program (CAP). Federal offenders who are sent to prison are typically placed on supervised release at the conclusion of their prison term. There are many conditions of supervised release, which can create hurdles to societal reintegration. The CAP was instituted by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office with cooperation from the U.S. Attorney and Federal Public Defender. The Court hosts two CAP meetings per month where supervised releasees can receive encouragement and a wealth of resources. The CAP also participates in an annual clothing drive event. Clothing collected is distributed to area women’s centers, violence prevention centers, and programs like Connections for Success. For a more personal view of what the CAP has to offer, check out written words of past participants in this “Lifestories” booklet.