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.
As we learned from the Civil Rights Movement, united and organized people can achieve life changing results. Every voter, every vote, and every election matters. Join us to build our power and raise our voices together for justice.
Governor Quinn signed a law to fund meaningful community-based services for survivors of human trafficking and encourage a more effective law enforcement response to end demand for sexual exploitation.
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 Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee of the Illinois General Assembly met for the first time this week. We are advocating for the committee to look at long-term criminal justice sentencing reform.
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.