Social Services

ACD has been providing holistic legal services to clients since our inception. The formalization of the Social Services Program exemplifies one-way ACD has grown in a client-centered way over time. Oftentimes, our clients’ interface with the legal system is due to laws, fines, and fees that are directly tied to the criminalization of being poor and/or Black. While staff, attorneys, and paralegals have helped clients overcome setbacks caused by injustices, the decision to hire social service providers and to formalize the Social Services program signals ACD’s commitment to reimagining public safety through a racial and social justice lens while creating pathways for individual self-determination and community empowerment. 

Our Social Services team consists of the Social Services Manager, Case Managers, and the Pilot Coordinator. Our team concentrates on helping ACD clients identify and access resources that can improve their overall quality of life. This can include assisting our clients with identifying and accessing safe and affordable housing, food support, employment, healthcare, utility assistance and more. The Social Services program also facilitates a yearly Gift Drive and Food delivery program. 

Social Services Pilot Program

Another unique component of our team is the Social Services Pilot Program. The Pilot Program was created in response to the many service barriers facing clients in the pretrial stage of their criminal legal case. The program assists clients by providing intensive case management, encouraging self-exploration and pursuit of goals and participation research. It is through participatory research, clients discuss the dangers of the carceral system and envision what safety and community wellbeing looks like absent from police, prisons, jails, and surveillance. ACD has partnered with UMSL’s Community Innovation and Action Center to assist with the research and evaluation portion of the pilot. 

Download a printable version of the pilot brochure.