Rebecca Rapp: COVID-19 Has Widened the Justice Gap
Dear Editor: I am writing in strong support of LIFT Dane Director Marsha Mansfield’s May 20 op-ed “Wisconsin’s civil legal aid providers need more support.” As Mansfield explained, there is a huge justice gap. The vast majority of people near or below the poverty line have legal problems for which they cannot get help. COVID-19 has widened the justice gap even more by (1) increasing the number of legal problems people have, (2) increasing the number of people without jobs or the resources to get legal help, and (3) closing the doors of courts and legal aid providers. Legal problems can significantly impede people’s ability to safeguard their families, housing, jobs, and health. Society cannot truly hope to recover from COVID-19 without providing people the legal help — and access to justice — they need to remove the barriers to safety, security, and stability legal problems present.