Reclaim Campaign

The goal of the Reclaim Campaign is to reduce violence by moving limited financial resources away from overly punitive criminal justice systems that perpetuate cycles of violence into community-based restorative justice, mental health, and substance abuse alternatives that rehabilitate lives and make our communities safer. 

Gabble and Marijuana sign

The Illinois General Assembly passed several bills to reform the Cook County Criminal Justice System. These victories build on our efforts to decrease the Cook County Jail population and divert the savings into community-based programs.

Nearly 1,500 people from CRS congregations and neighborhood organizations across the city filled Liberty Baptist Church on Chicago’s south side yesterday to take action in the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez continues her approach of deadly inaction, refusing to work with the Reclaim Campaign to reform our broken justice system and prevent violence in our communities.

Today, we are marching to State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office, on behalf of the thousands of Cook County residents to deliver Deadly Inaction: A Proposal for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to Prevent Violence.

On Saturday October 4, the Reclaim Campaign held a public meeting where Cook County Commissioners commitment to actively seek a $1 million increase for the violence prevention, intervention, and reduction grants in the 2015 Cook County Budget.

This is good news, but we still have much more work to do. The current budget increases spending on the Cook County Jail by $27 million but makes no increase for preventing violence in our communities.

An important part of Community Renewal Society’s (CRS) work is to bring together congregations to fight for social justice. Every fall CRS holds an Annual Membership Assembly to set priorities for our organizing and policy work. On Saturday, October 4, CRS membership voted to initiate two new campaigns and renew three campaigns launched in 2013.

There is plenty of evidence that our current public safety strategy is not working. It's time for Cook County to invest in preventing violence instead of reacting to it. We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem.

At the July 24, 2014 Reclaim Campaign public meeting with Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans, Rev. Griffin testified about the need to create partnership and called for commitments to restorative justice practices that can help prevent violence in our city.

There were shouts of joy and celebration on Thursday, July 24, as 500 Reclaim Campaign leaders began a partnership with Cook County Chief Judge Evans to prevent violence by creating a new Restorative Justice diversion and reforming the court system.

The Cook County justice system is broken. Its policies perpetuate the cycle of violence plaguing our communities by draining our limited resources and devastating people’s lives. Instead of rehabilitating individuals who need support and treatment we impose costly punishments that often lead to isolation and despair. This is what the Cook County justice system did for Russell Cunningham, a CRS leader and member of the Reclaim Campaign from First Baptist Congregational Church. 

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