Come back to school

Three options when going back to school

When you leave the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, you should feel safe and welcome in your school. You made a choice to go back to school, and it is the school's job to support you. You may be required to bring a birth certificate and other identification with you when you return to school. It is a good idea to call the school office before you go to make sure you have what you need.

How do I enroll?

Visit the main office, introduce yourself, and ask for assistance in returning to classes. If you can, bring a trusted adult with you to help with the process.

Remember: if you are on probation, going to school could be a part of the terms of your probation. If you don't go to school, you could be called back to court. If you have an IEP, your plan for extra support should start again right away.

Get support

Free legal services

Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Free legal aid for cases involving juvenile delinquency, mental illness, first-time offenders, and actual innocence.
Phone: 312-738-2452
First Defense Legal Aid
Provides 24-hour legal help for people who are arrested or detained at Chicago police stations.
Website: See Facebook
Phone: 800-LAW-REP-4
Children and Family Justice Center at
Northwestern U Law School

Free defense on juvenile delinquency cases.
Phone: 312-503-8576
Know Your Rights Project
Free training and help in navigating the juvenile justice system for youth and families.
Website: See website
Lawndale Christian Legal Center
Legal representation and social services for court-involved youth age 24 and younger from North Lawndale.
Phone: 773-762-6381
Chicago Coalition for The Homeless Law Project
Legal assistance for young people who are homeless, in shelters, or not in permanent housing.
Phone: Monica Mahan at 1-800-940-1119
Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
Free legal help for students and families on school-related issues including expulsion hearings.
Phone: 312-630-9744, ext. 231
Civitas Childlaw Center at Loyola University Law School
Phone:312-915-7940 (intake) - Very limited availability
Equip for Equality
Legal representation for children and young people who may have a disability.
Phone:Rachel Shapiro at 312-895-7308
LAF (formerly Legal Assistance Foundation)
Legal representation for juvenile expungement, expulsion hearings, special education, and other civil legal issues.
Phone:312-341-1070 (intake)
Affinity Community Services
Supporting the Black LGBTQ community and youth through safe, supportive spaces for development, understanding, and action.
Address:1424-28 E. 53rd Street, Suite 306
, Chicago, IL 60615
Lambda Legal
Advancing the civil rights of the LGBTQ community and those affected by HIV through education, legal advocacy, and public policy.
Address:105 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-663-4413
Transformative Justice Law Project
Provides support, advocacy, and legal services for low-income and street-based transgender and gender non-conforming youth.
Address:2040 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773-272-1822
The American Civil Liberties Union
Works to advance the rights of the disadvantaged, including LGBTQ individuals, people of color, prisoners, those with mental illness or disabilities, and the poor.
Address:180 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-201-9740

Health services

Provides support for those with mental illness.
Address: 4101 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773-572-5500
Youth Outreach Services (English/Spanish)
Provides pre-trial services, detention alternatives, and family therapy for youth 12-17.
Address: 2411 W. Congress Pkwy.
Phone: 773-777-7112
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Chicago (NAMI)
Programs and support for those in the greater Chicago area whose lives are affected by mental illness.
Address: 1536 W. Chicago Ave. - Chicago IL 60642
Phone: 312-563-0445
Alternatives, Inc.
Provides programs on leadership development, prevention of violence and substance abuse, academic enrichment and counseling for youth and families.
Address: 4730 N. Sheridan Rd. - Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-506-7474
Catholic Charities (English/Spanish)
Offers information and resources about local services and needs, including an online donation form, employment, links, and contacts.
Address: 721 N. LaSalle St. - Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: Monica Mahan at 1-800-940-1119
Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)
Provides emotional and mental health and social services.
Address: 4740 N. Clark St. - Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-769-0205
Association House of Chicago (English/Spanish)
Provides health and welfare training and programs in English and Spanish.
Address: 1116 N. Kedzie Ave. - Chicago, IL 60651
Stroger SGL Clinic
The SGL clinic addresses and supports the medical and mental needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Address: 1901 W. Harrison St., 3rd floor, Chicago, IL 60612
Howard Brown Health Center
Offers drug testing; HIV testing, monitoring, and counseling; psychiatric support; and family, group, and individual counseling for LGBT persons and their loved ones.
Address: 4025 N.Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60613
Howard Brown Broadway Youth Center
Offers programming and community, as well as job and health services, to LGBTQA youth ages 12-24 of all races and backgrounds.
Address: 615 West Wellington Ave, Chicago, Il 60657


Night Ministry
Welcomes homeless youth with an open door to overnight housing, as well as extended housing and social services options at a variety of locations.
Address: 4711 N. Ravenswood Ave
Phone: 773-784-9000
Mercy Home
Provides housing, support, and educational programs for youth.
Address: 1140 W. Jackson Blvd.
Phone: 1-877-24-START
Teen Living Programs
Offers youth a new home and support for education, jobs, counseling, health care, nutrition and life skills.
Address: 162 W. Hubbard St. - Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 866-803-8336 ext. 10
Aunt Martha's
Offers family support, shelters and group homes, in-between housing help, and foster care.
Address: 19990 Governors Highway - Olympia Fields, IL 60461
Phone: 708-747-7100
Boys Hope Girls Hope
Address: 100 North Laramie Avenue - Wilmette, IL 60091-1021
Phone: 847-920-2783
La Casa Norte
Provides access to stable housing, food, life skills, education, therapy, food, and clothing support.
Address: 3533 W. North Avenue - Chicago, Il 60647
Phone: 773-276-4900
Association House of Chicago (English/Spanish)
Provides health and welfare training and programs in English and Spanish.
Address: 1116 N. Kedzie Ave. - Chicago, IL 60651
Chicago House
Supports LGBTQ youth and/or those with HIV/AIDS status with housing and job services, with special programs for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Address:1925 N Clybourn Ave #401, Chicago, IL 60614

Clear your record

If you were arrested when you were 17 or younger, you probably have a juvenile record. These records do not go away on their own. The good news: most juvenile records can be erased through a process called juvenile expungement! will help you find out if you qualify and how to step through the process.


Getting a job is easier

because potential employers won't find any record of your juvenile court involvement.


Peace of mind

When you clear your record,
you have a clean slate.


Getting a loan or credit

to buy a house or car is easier, because your juvenile record will not appear on a criminal background check.

Find a job



JVS will work with you to create an employment or education plan. Services include job search and interview preparation, internships, referrals to other services, connecting with transportation assistance, and childcare.

Check online
One Summer Chicago

One Summer Chicago

One Summer Chicago brings together government institutions, community-based organizations and companies to offer over 24,000 employment and internship opportunities to youth and young adults ages 14 to 24.

Check online
Job Corps

Job Corps

A free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income.

Check online
Safer Foundation

Safer Foundation

Safer Foundation's Chicago area youth program is open to anyone between 16 and 21 years who has had involvement with the criminal justice system and would like to obtain a GED, job skills, or seek employment (18 and up).

Check online