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Justice Unlocked Celebrates its First Year

On January 26, Justice Unlocked celebrated its first anniversary with several of its closest friends, family and clients. The evening was meant to celebrate our organizations growth and how far we have come since Justice Unlocked started taking clients one year ago. Many of the employees behind Justice Unlocked looked forward to the evening as a way to reflect on how we’ve grown and will grow in the future and enjoy the company of coworkers. One such person was deputy development director Lasserina Dowell. “It’s a chance for our organization to be seen throughout our community,” said Lasserina. “It’s also an internal thing. It’s a chance for our organization and all of the people who have worked so hard to have a night of relaxation.”

Lasserina started the evening by introducing the event and speaking on what it means to us. CEO and founder Jamie Sutton also spoke on the organizations growth and significance and on why he founded the organization in the first place. His speech was followed by a speech by Kim Bombgarnder which gave a first hand account of how Justice Unlocked has helped people and contributed to their lives. “I'm excited we've gotten to help so many people, while saddened and motivated by the fact there are so many people that need help,” said Jamie.

The night wouldn’t have been complete without the cooperation of Cardinal Spirits, a local brewery in Bloomington, who donated drinks for the evening’s event, Bucceto’s, an Italian restaurant in Bloomington that catered the food, and of course our wonderful clients and supporters. The night’s festivities were accompanied by Emily Lehman and her guitar and ended with a raffle prize won by Kim.

Jamie said that the growth of the organization has astounded him and that the dinner was a way to commemorate and honor the success the year has fostered. “When we started in December of 2015, it was literally just me and Michael LoPrete, our senior staff attorney, said Jamie. “Now there's a total of 9 employees, full-time support staff, formal intake and case management processes. It's amazing.”

Justice Unlocked looks forward to another year of success, of helping others, and of spending time with all of our supportive friends, family, former and present clients and supporters. We hope to expand our reach within our next year and provide services to those who truly need it. “This time next year, I'd hope that we're fundraising to open up our first branch office outside of Bloomington,” said Justice Unlocked attorney Michael LoPrete. “The need we seek to fill can be found all over the state, and with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we might be able help people all over the state.”

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Justice Unlocked is Getting Bigger

Justice Unlocked is continuing to expand its reach and is working toward helping even more people within our community. In order to do this, we rely on our incredible team of passionate employees eager to help where they can. We’ve recently had the opportunity to make two exciting new additions to this team and are excited to see how they help Justice Unlocked grow.

IU student and journalism major Mallory Haag has taken her position as the social media manager. She’s worked for publications like IDS and PBS in the past as well as for nonprofit publications in a variety of locations globally. Mallory will be working toward making our social media networks more useful and she looks forward to helping Justice Unlocked continue to serve their community and clients alongside our legal team through open communication pathways and providing a helpful resource outlet.

Third year law student Evan Stahr has worked in Indiana and Illinois with incarcerated individuals in both state and federal prisons and he’ll now be interning with us performing intakes and other legal intern responsibilities. “I wanted to come to Justice Unlocked because it seemed natural to continue assisting underrepresented individuals in my local community,” said Evan.

Austin Andreas is a legal intern here at Justice Unlocked. The second year law student has worked in New Delhi at a corporate law firm to the Indiana Supreme Court extorting for Justice Slaughter. Austin will be providing assistance to our attorneys here at Justice Unlocked in the form of intakes and client meetings. Austin is looking forward to helping with more cases and getting involved in litigation.

There will be yet another legal intern adding to our ranks. Molly Morgan, a second year law student at Indiana University, has worked with The Protective Order Project in the past performing intakes and assisting domestic violence victims in issuing a protective order. She’ll continue to help clients here at Justice Unlocked. Though Molly still supports the Protective Order Project, she looks forward to working with clients at Justice Unlocked. “It will be a great opportunity to have a positive impact in the community,” Molly said. “I expect it will also be a great learning experience.”

Justice Unlocked is looking forward to assisting clients with a more dynamic staff. In Expanding our offices and the people who work within them, we are better able to properly handle more cases in a more efficient fashion. Thank you for all of your continued support and please welcome our new employees to Justice Unlocked!