Closing Out 2020 and Contributing to Justice Reform and the Work Ahead

From the Desk of John McLees…

We approach the end of the year with many reasons to appreciate the dedication of organizations and individuals, including many public officials, whose efforts continue to shine a light on the failures of our justice system, to help those suffering from the consequences, and to develop and implement changes that will bring justice and overcome racial bias. 

Here is a list of organizations that are making important contributions to improving our justice system and that are worthy of our year-end financial support, including links that you can use to learn more about their work and to make a donation.

[And this website is maintained by and you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.]

Please also use the links in the Reports section of the website under the heading Sources of Information and Ideas and the subheading Other Sources of Information and Ideas to access some of the important recent reports mentioned there, including:

  • a November 2020 study from the Guggenheim Foundation concluding that releasing 25 percent of the prisoners in the Illinois Department of Corrections would not result in an increase in crime,
  • a November 2020 study from Loyola University Chicago concluding that reducing the use of cash bail has not resulted in an increase in crime in Cook county,
  • a November 2020 report from the Prison Policy Institute concluding that releasing people pretrial does not harm public safety,
  • a November 2020 statement from a large number of former parole and probation officers calling for probation and parole to be shorter, less punitive and more equitable, and
  • a June 2020 report from the Heartland Alliance on the scale and impact of permanent punishment of people with criminal records in Illinois.

Consider including some of these in your holiday reading and in your consideration of how you can make a difference in helping to bring justice to Illinois and across the country in the coming year.

We hope that you and your families will find ways to relax and celebrate during this unusual holiday season.