FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER LAUNCHES LEGAL CLINIC IN MIAMI'S HISTORIC OVERTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD
Florida Justice Center Launches Legal Clinic in Miami’s Historic Overtown Neighborhood
Legal aid organization provides free walk-in legal services to underserved community.
Miami, FL (March 31, 2021) –
Florida Justice Center announced today that it is bringing free legal services to the Historic Overtown neighborhood of Miami. The non-profit legal aid organization has partnered with the City of Miami (Historic Negro) Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum to create a walk-in legal clinic focusing on helping people restore their rights and resolve criminal legal problems.
The public is invited to come to the Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum located at 480 NW 11th Street in Miami on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 3pm – 7pm to speak with Florida Justice Center lawyers and case managers.
Community members can walk-in without an appointment and speak with Florida Justice Center staff and attorneys to discuss their legal issues. While the clinic is focused on criminal defense, outstanding warrants, probation violations, sealing and expunging arrest records, voting rights restoration, prison reentry services, and veteran assistance, anyone with a civil legal issue such as a landlord/tenant dispute or restraining orders will receive a direct referral to one of our partner organizations.
Overtown was once a thriving arts and culture center for the Black community until the 1950s and 1960s when three highways were built through middle of the neighborhood. Today, Overtown is an underserved but culturally rich area that struggles with a lack of access to resources and a significant number of residents living far below the poverty line.
“It is important that we go into the communities that we serve rather than expecting individuals to come to us. We need to meet with people where they live to better understand the community needs,” said Jonathan Bleiweiss, Florida Justice Center’s Executive Director.
The Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum originally served as a police station for Black police officers and as a courtroom for Black judges to deal with Black defendants. The building was closed in 1963 and underwent a restoration, reopening as a museum in 2009. The significance of holding a legal services clinic inside a former police station and relic of the Jim Crow era cannot be ignored.
“The museum is excited to partner with Florida Justice Center to continue in the working-service this building was once used for back between 1950 and 1964,” said museum Executive Director Terrance Cribbs-Lorrant. “History teaches us how to be better stewards over our present tense that we may be the heirs of a promising future.”
Those interested in learning more can come to the clinic on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, call 954-758-7555, or visit www.FLJC.org/Overtown.
ABOUT BLACK POLICE PRECINCT & COURTHOUSE MUSEUM
This museum’s mission is to acquire, preserve, display, and promote collections of a historical nature that will be of educational value to the preservation of African American history as it relates to the struggles and accomplishments of Black Police Officers in Overtown, as they served during the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
The museum is a full service facility. It displays police memorabilia, artifacts, documents, video, and word-of-mouth stories by the men and women who worked there. It provides a community center for its citizens, a tutorial center, and learning center for children in the City of Miami’s most underprivileged neighborhoods. It created outreach programs for juveniles that live in these neighborhoods. The museum partners with community organizations in the area and develop crime prevention programs, all of which enhance the quality of life for children and families, making our community a better place to live.
ABOUT FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
FLJC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is the first and only legal aid organization authorized by the Florida Supreme Court to provide criminal legal assistance. FLJC is dedicated to reducing incarceration rates in Florida using a holistic approach that combines legal, social, and mental health services. As a ground-breaking and rapidly growing organization, the FLJC team hopes that its success grows with each additional supporter.