Justice Summer – Digging Deeper and Pressing On

From the Desk of John McLees:

The updated section on Getting Involved in Criminal Justice Reform highlights:

  • sources of learning available to all of us on criminal justice issues,
  • opportunities to get a young person’s perspective on life in the North Lawndale neighborhood, and
  • efforts underway in Illinois and elsewhere to reimagine our justice system, especially to reimagine how our justice system deals with young adult offenders.

It also continues to feature numerous volunteer opportunities.

You can learn more about the work of the Reimagine Justice Policy Academy, launched earlier this year in Illinois, by participating in a conference with international speakers being held from 10:00 to 4:00 next Wednesday, June 5, at the Lawndale Christian Conference Center, or from the report of the Columbia University Justice Lab: Emerging Adult Justice in Illinois: Towards an Age-Appropriate Approach, available at a link in the attachment.

Earlier messages have focused on efforts to make incremental improvements in our criminal justice system in the current session of the Illinois General Assembly. While a full assessment of those efforts is not yet possible, it is clear that the legislature’s focus on other big ticket items has crowded out consideration of many of those legislative proposals. Similarly, efforts will need to continue in the months ahead in defending the improvements being made in the prosecutorial function by Kim Foxx as Cook County State’s Attorney, against attacks by the Federation of Police and others.

On a positive note, the Cook County Board of Commissioners has responded to the Fair Housing Initiative of a broad coalition of Chicago organizations by amending the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance to limit the ability of landlords to take past criminal records into account in making rental decisions.

Please make yours a justice summer.