Community Rallies to Support “Kevin”
A few weeks ago, LCCR investigator Nat Carney was at the grocery store when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to find Kevin, a former client, smiling up at him. Kevin told Nat how he had been working at the store to support himself and his young son as he finished up high school. He said he was doing well, really well, and wanted to thank Nat and his LCCR team for helping him get there.
Nat says Kevin’s success is his own doing, that he’s a sweet kid who works hard and focuses on school. And he’s right. His LCCR defense team, however, helped Kevin return quickly to school and find a job after his first and only contact with the justice system.
A while ago, Kevin was arrested on a firearm charge. Nat scoured the neighborhood to find witnesses to the arrest and learn more about how Kevin was perceived in the community. And what he heard was repeated over and over again: Kevin was a good kid. Kevin was always respectful and polite. This wasn’t like Kevin at all.
Community members were convinced that Kevin had been pressured by another boy who had been with him when he was arrested. Nat handed these testimonies over to Kevin’s LCCR attorney, who presented a compelling, holistic picture of Kevin’s character to a judge. His defense team, including his youth advocate and social worker, also crafted a plan that would keep Kevin engaged in positive activities, such as working a part-time job and playing on the school’s basketball team, rather than getting caught up by negative influences.
Thanks to the community’s faith in Kevin, his LCCR team’s zealous representation, and, most importantly, Kevin’s own efforts to learn from his mistake, the judge released Kevin on probation. He was able to return to classes without falling behind and start his afterschool job at the grocery store.
“This is what happens when you give a kid a real chance,” says Nat of Kevin’s success. “Making a long-term difference in a child’s life means allowing him the opportunity to learn from his mistakes and do something positive. Our kids will take that opportunity if they have it.”