December 31, 2010

Direct Services

Florence and Eloy Programs

Our adult programs strive to provide access to justice for all indigent men and women detained in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florence and Eloy, Arizona. Our Florence Program serves men detained in four ICE detention facilities in the town of Florence and processed through the Florence Immigration Court. Our Eloy Program serves the men and women detained in the Eloy Detention Center contract facility and processed through the Eloy Immigration Court. Both programs provide live “know your rights” legal orientation presentations for all individuals who will be appearing before an Immigration Judge, individual consultations with an attorney, guided pro se assistance, group workshops, self help legal guides written for detainees, referrals to pro bono attorneys and, in limited cases, representation by Florence Project attorneys in bond hearings, merits cases, and appeals.

Our model of service for both programs grew out of our Florence Justice and Efficiency Model (in operation since 1989) and our Eloy Pro Se Model (established in 1998) and emphasizes client empowerment, autonomy, and success in pro se representation. Our innovative approach allows us to use our limited staff resources to reach thousands of detainees through targeted assistance designed to empower individuals to be educated about the court process and law and represent themselves. Both programs have been nationally praised and replicated by other organizations across the country.

The Children’s Program

Our Children’s Program educates, empowers, and provides legal assistance to the more than 500 unaccompanied immigrant minors detained for removal proceedings before the Phoenix Immigration Court. Unaccompanied minors are children under 18 years old who have crossed the border or been apprehended by ICE without a parent or guardian. While in ICE custody, they are held in secure facilities, contract shelters, group homes, or foster care placements under the auspices of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Children’s Initiative conducts “know your rights” presentations, individual intakes for all children and either represents them in court or refers their cases to pro bono attorneys in the community.

Integrated Social Services Program

Our Integrated Social Services Program offers supportive social services for some of the most vulnerable detained individuals including the mentally ill, unaccompanied minors, survivors of torture, asylum seekers, domestic violence victims, people with significant medical issues, and parents at immediate risk of losing custody of their children. The Program seeks to address and alleviate individuals’ psycho-social needs, support legal requests for release and relief from deportation and foster successful integration for individuals released from custody by connecting them to existing service providers and support networks in the community.