The cycle of violence in our region takes an enormous toll. Too often juvenile offenders are channeled into a system that makes them better criminals rather than better citizens. Meanwhile, too many adult offenders are caught in a revolving door of recidivism; roughly 40 percent of inmates released from Illinois prisons will be back in prison within three years. It’s bad for everybody—for the communities disrupted by crime; for the offenders, whose lives never amount to much; and for taxpayers, who pay for this platinum revolving door. Chicago Metropolis 2020 is working for better outcomes in our legal and corrections systems.

The Collaborative on Reentry

The Collaborative on Reentry is a group convened by Chicago Metropolis 2020, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago and has as its goal developing a comprehensive framework of services and resources for people reentering society and communities across Illinois in productive ways.

This group has been meeting in 2009 in day-long sessions to review best practices, new policies and to hear from decision makers on pressing issues in the field.

As a resource to those who have participated in the meetings in the past and for those who are interested in the field, we are posting materials on the meetings online for ease of access.   

You may follow the links below for more information on the programs for the dates indicated:

» Alternatives to Incarciration and No Entry Strategies (March 25, 2009 Meeting)

» Education and Employment (June 15, 2009 meeting)

» Reentry Housing (September 25, 2009 Meeting)

» Juvenile Reentry (December 16, 2009)

Paula Wolff Keynotes 2008 Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice Annual Luncheon

On October 7, 2008, Senior Executive Paula Wolff served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 Annual Luncheon of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, a "nationally connected social impact research and advocacy organization that works to achieve fundamental, systemic reform by addressing policies and practices that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential".

At this lunch, Paula Wolff talked and presented on troubling trends in the criminal justice system in Illinois based, in part, on findings from our Crime and Justice Index. A copy of Paula Wolff's presentation may be found below.

WBBM Radio 780 AM Features Chicago Metropolis 2020 Senior Executive
Paula Wolff in Panel Discussion on Juvenile Justice

On December 23, 2007, Paula Wolff participated in a panel discussion on WBBM's award-winning weekly public affairs interview show "At Issue", hosted by WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore. The topic was the Juvenile Justice system in Illinois and the newly-released findings by the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative.

To listen to the broadcast in its entirety (about 30 minutes), you may click on the WBBM logo below (note this is a large file approx. 8 MB).

2006 Crime and Justice Index (CJI)

On Monday, October 30, 2006, Chicago Metropolis 2020 released its 2006 Crime and Justice Index (CJI) - an examination of the region’s crime rates, increasing prison population and challenges facing ex-prisoners.

Crime and justice is not just the concern of lawyers and police, not just the concern of crime victims and advocates of prison reform. When our governments in Illinois commit $7 billion annually to crime and justice all of us have a reason to take a closer look at how it is spent.

This is an ideal time for a thorough review of crime and justice. Crime rates are down significantly. The public appears to be receptive to a discussion of alternatives. We all know the “war on drugs” has not been won and prison sentences haven’t reduced drug use. And a majority knows most prisoners will someday be back in society and ought to have job training, drug treatment, mental health services and similar services to help them stay out of prison.

We don’t have all of the answers. We do have an idea of how to improve the system and spend tax dollars more wisely. We’re encouraging thought and discussion.

2006 Crime and Justice Index (CJI) (PDF, 9.19 MB)