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Madison County creates ‘Accountability Court’ to aid child support cases


From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE – Chief Judge Dave Hylla has announced the inception of Madison County’s first Accountability Court, designed to assist parents who are willing to pay child support but unable to fulfill their financial obligation.

The court will partner with local community colleges, Madison County employment services, and the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, to identify common barriers and connect participants to community agencies that can provide support. Community partners will offer assistance with employment, job placement, and coordination for veterans, resume and interview assistance, transportation and skills development.

The Accountability Court will seek to engage local business leaders in order to pursue employment opportunities and eventual placement of participants.

“The Accountability Court will create a favorable environment for participants to receive support and encouragement to better their lives,” said Chief Judge Dave Hylla. “Barriers to success can come in many forms. Let’s help people get back to work for themselves and their families through support, job training and placement.”

Former circuit judge and now again a practicing attorney, Ann Callis, has been chosen to chair the effort.

“The Madison County Accountability Court will assist with job placement and skills-training to ensure every participant has the chance to fulfill their obligations and take a positive step forward,” she said. “All too often we see dedicated parents lapse on their family obligations without assistance or understanding. We need to empower these individuals to develop the confidence and strength needed to set realistic goals for their families and fulfill their potential by getting them back to work.”

“Madison County’s Accountability Court will give participants the tools and knowledge they need to move forward and make positive changes through employment,” said Bob Plummer. “I strongly support this program and would encourage other local businesses to find a way to find a way to be supportive and involved.”

Members of the committee:

• Ann Callis, attorney, Goldenberg Heller Antognoli, chair
• Dave Hylla, chief judge Madison County
• Robert Plummer, president, R.P. Lumber
• Jennifer Mudge, first assistant state’s attorney, Madison County
• Stephanie King, chief of Child Support Division, Madison County
• David Stoecklin, executive director, Madison County Employment & Training
• Clarissa Gaff, managing attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
• Dr. Linda Chapman, vice president Academic Affairs, Lewis and Clark Community College
• Terry Lane, director, Career & Veteran Services, Lewis and Clark Community College
• Janet Fontenot, dean, Business Division, Southwester Illinois Community College
• Bill Gagen, director, Workforce Development, Southwestern Illinois Community College
• Nathaniel Carrol, attorney, Goldenberg, Heller Antognoli
• Omar Malik, attorney, Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli
Judge Maureen Schuette and Judge Sarah Smith will preside. For more information on the program, contact Ann Callis at:

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