May 8, 2019
ArchCity Defenders (ACD), a non profit civil rights law firm based in St. Louis, is partnering with St. Louis County Library system and Mound City Bar Association to launch an updated version of Pro Se STL, two local ‘know your rights’ guide booklets which provide information for representing oneself in municipal court and for knowing one’s rights with the police and getting out of jail.
ACD produced these guides as a response to the limited capacity in the region to provide free legal services, and the need for the legal information contained in the guides to be publicly available. ACD wrote the content and partnered with local artists, illustrators and designers to have a final product that people would want to pick up, read, and use effectively. The final design was created by local illustrator Theresa Williams.
The new guides will feature revised information including Rule 33.01, the Missouri Supreme Court’s updated rule regarding cash bail which goes into effect July 2019. The design and titles of the booklets remain the same as the original copies first published in June 2018: A Guide to Knowing Your Rights with the Police and Getting Out of Jail, and A Guide to Representing Yourself in St. Louis Municipal Courts.
“Since Pro Se STL launched, people throughout the region have had access to a resource that helps them navigate a predatory and stressful criminal legal system of police, courts, and jails,” said Blake Strode, Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders. “We look forward to sharing the updated guides with the community at our re-launch with St. Louis County Library and Mound City Bar.”
“ArchCity Defenders is a valuable resource for residents of our region. We are thrilled to be hosting the Pro Se folding event at our Florissant Valley Branch,” said Kristen Sorth, Director, St. Louis County Library.
“Mound City Bar Association, a nearly 100 year old association of African American legal professionals, is a proud sponsor of this ArchCity Defenders community event and pleased to have the support of Executive Director Blake Strode who serves on the MCBA Executive Committee as co-chair of MCBA’s community affairs committee,” said Danielle Carr, President, Mound City Bar Association.
At the Re-Boot, ArchCity Defenders will talk more about the Pro Se STL booklets and teach event attendees how to fold the guides into pocket-sized booklets so they can be distributed throughout St. Louis. This event is free and open to the public, and the link to register can be found here. Complimentary food and drinks will be provided.
This is the first re-print and folding party of the Pro Se STL guides since the original launch in June 2018, which was sponsored by the Polsinelli Law Firm and The Luminary, a community art gallery. Since then, Pro Se STL guides have been available to view, download and print online at www.prosestl.org. The revised guides will replace the current ones on May 30, 2019.
Z. Gorley, Communications Director at ArchCity Defenders