Highland News Leader

Madison County creates child support ‘Accountability Court’

Chief Judge Dave Hylla has announced the inception of Madison County’s first “Accountability Court,” which will assist parents who are willing to pay child support but unable to fulfill their obligation due to certain common barriers to employment and financial stability.

The Madison County Accountability Court will partner with local community colleges, Madison County Employment Services, and the Madison County States’ Attorneys’ Office, to identify common barriers and connect participants to community agencies that can provide support for these individuals and the families they 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.”

“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,” said MCAC chairperson Ann Callis. “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.”

Madison County Accountability Court Committee Members

▪ Ann Callis, attorney at Goldenberg Heller Antognoli (chair)

▪ Dave Hylla, chief judge of Madison County

▪ Robert Plummer, president of 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 of academic affairs, Lewis & Clark Community College

▪ Terry Lane, director of career and veteran services, Lewis & Clark Community College

▪ Janet Fontenot, dean of business division, Southwestern Illinois Community College

▪ Bill Gagen, director of workforce development, Southwestern Illinois Community College

▪ Nathaniel Carrol, attorney, Goldenberg, Heller and Antognoli

▪ Omar Malik, attorney at Goldenberg Heller Antognoli

For more information on the program, contact Ann Callis at acallis@ghalaw.com.