April 22nd: Breakout Sessions Outlined

On April 22nd, we will join with the Interfaith Criminal Justice Task Force to continue the discussion and dig deeper into understanding how we can all contribute to addressing the problems with our criminal justice system. We will meet to exchange ideas and to participate in breakout sessions focused on learning more about specific opportunities to make a difference.

Register online at:  https://goo.gl/forms/QJD0u6vpbLkNMrN32

Breakout sessions on volunteer opportunities to include:

Reforming bail practices
Led by:  Irene Romulo
of the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Learn about accompanying individuals in bond court and ways to support those out on bond.

Advocacy
Led by:  Jobi Cates of Restore Justice and Ben Ruddell of ACLU Illinois. A primer on how to make your views known on proposed legislation, with or without going to Springfield.

Restorative Justice
Led by:  Michelle Day and Olivia Chase of Nehemiah Trinity Rising and Cliff Nellis of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center. Learn more about restorative justice process and how to get involved in helping to realize its potential.
 
Learning From Those Who Served Time
Led by:  Budder Jones of Inmates for Change and Fahmi Jones of  Families and Prisoners United.  Discussion of how to support the efforts of groups led by former prisoners who are working to help other returning citizens.

Job Training for Returning Citizens
Led by:  Brian Kenner of Safer Foundation. Volunteer opportunities in efforts to provide job training for returning citizens.

Other Reentry Support
Led by:  Chares Perry of the Westside Health Authority, Joan Shapiro and Jan Yourist of Reading Between the Lines and Carli McCabe of Back on My Feet Chicago. Getting involved in mentoring and other volunteer opportunities with organizations providing support services to returning citizens as they work to rebuild their lives.

Prisoner Support
Led by: Jennifer Vollen-Katz
or one of her colleagues from The John Howard Association. Learning about opportunities to work with the John Howard Association to make a difference in the lives of those who are incarcerated in Illinois prisons through individual advocacy efforts as well as system reform work.  JHA is llinois’ only independent prison watchdog organization.  It utilizes citizen volunteers to support its monitoring visits inside the prisons, to help with its inmate survey project, and to assist in its Prison Response Unit, which responds to more than 5,000 letters from incarcerated individuals on an annual basis.

Support Activities in the Juvenile Justice System
Led by: Robert Vickery of The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
. Learning about volunteer opportunities to assist in providing training courses and other services in Chicago area facilities of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

Organizing Congregational Activity
Led by: Saeed Richardson
of The Community Renewal Society and Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer of St. John’s Episcopal Church. This session will involve a lively discussion about mobilizing congregations for involvement in criminal justice issues.