Ending Incommunicado Detention

Hotline Expansion

The 24-hour Hotline 1(800)LAW-REP4 now connects you with community resources to avoid arrest, and public defenders in the first 48 hours of arrest. It is also an entry point into FDLA programming.

Know Your Rights

FDLA teaches how and why to retain counsel for someone under arrest through its Know Your Rights trainings and popular educational materials. These trainings and materials focus on our Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights during police encounters. More information about FDLA’s Know Your Rights educational initiatives here.

Know Your Resources

When help is needed and police are not the answer, 1(800)LAW-REP4 can connect callers to emergency resources that may prevent unnecesary engagement with the criminal system. Providers of restorative justice, pre-arrest diversion, and social and legal supports are available. More information here.

Enforce Your Rights

By popular demand, FDLA developed an Enforce Your Rights manual on what you can do if you believe the police have violated your rights. 1(800)LAW-REP4 can connect you to this educational resource as well as to civil rights attorneys. More information about the Enforce Your Rights program and legal help for victims of police abuse here.

Hotline History

1(800)LAW-REP4 began in 1995, connecting anyone arrested or detained by Chicago police with an on-call attorney who would provide actual police station representation, free of charge, anytime of day or night. Legal aid and pro bono attorneys staffed the hotline every day and every night for 24 years. Simultaneously, FDLA advocated policy change for the service be adopted by the Cook County Public Defender for optimal sustainability and universal access to this human and civil right. In March 2019, the Cook County Public Defender took over responsibility for the representation of individuals in police custody throughout Cook County.

As our work to secure public defense for arrestees culminated, FDLA adopted its Strategic Plan 2019-22 (available here) with a new mission statement and expanded program strategies and policy demonstrations for interrupting mass incarceration. 1(800)LAW-REP4 now connects you to community resources to avoid arrest, and public defenders in the first 48 hours of an arrest. 1(800)LAW-REP4 is additionally an entry point into any of FDLA’s programs, described below.