Clinical Professor Randolph Stone was honored Friday with the Safer Foundation’s annual Spirit of Safer Award, which acknowledges significant contributions to criminal justice reform in the Chicago area.
“Professor Stone has an exemplary career record of defending the vulnerable, of fighting for justice and opportunity for people with criminal records," said Anthony Lowery, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Safer Foundation, a 44-year-old Chicago-based nonprofit that provides reentry services for people with criminal records, including helping them secure and maintain employment. "His work is at the forefront of the criminal justice reform, especially because of his focus on juvenile issues. Juveniles get an unfair shake in this country in the criminal justice system. When you look at juvenile life without parole, when you look at the transfer of juveniles to adult court and other issues associated with juvenile incarceration and juvenile records—all of these are issues Professor Stone has worked on and advocated for, for fairness and opportunities for juveniles."
Stone and Clinical Professor Herschella Conyers co-direct the Law School’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic, which provides legal representation to poor children and young adults accused of delinquency and crime. It is part of the Law School’s Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, which Stone directed between 1991 to 2001. Before that, he served as the Public Defender of Cook County. Stone was also among those named to the new Police Accountability Task Force created several months ago by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Safer Foundation President and CEO Victor Dickson, who is also a member of the task force, said working side-by-side with Stone this year has given him insight into Stone's devotion to the issues.
“I got an up-close view of his passion and commitment for people, especially those whose voices could be easily ignored,” Dickson said.
Stone said the award "is a reflection of the commitment of Professor Conyers, clinic social worker Michelle Geller, and of all our law and social work students over the years to making access to justice a meaningful reality for the poor, the locked up, and the locked out."
Clinical Professor Jeff Leslie, the Law School’s Director of Clinical and Experiential Learning, said the Law School was proud to see Stone's service honored.
“Randolph Stone has long been a leader in efforts to reform the criminal justice system, including efforts to address the barriers faced by people with criminal records in terms of finding employment, accessing housing, and otherwise receiving the support they need upon reentry," he said. "This award is a well-deserved recognition of his contributions and leadership on these issues."