BPI Takes On New Justice Reform Initiatives in 2018

Posted on December 12th, 2017

For decades, BPI has worked to strengthen neighborhoods around Chicago and throughout the region.  Our experience leads to an inescapable conclusion:  In its current form, our criminal  justice system is both a consequence of and a contributor to racial and economic injustice.

Over-reliance on prison and jail, coupled with the racial and economic inequities in the criminal justice system, have devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities.  We cannot achieve a just society without systemic criminal justice reform.

In 2018, BPI will focus its efforts on two initiatives with the goals of reducing Illinois’ prison and jail populations, reducing recidivism, and increasing re-entry opportunities.

Community supervision and alternatives to incarceration

In Illinois, more individuals are assigned to community supervision programs (probation, parole, and mandatory supervised release) than are incarcerated.  Community supervision can be a meaningful and cost-effective alternative to incarceration, provided individuals receive the necessary services, supervision, and the opportunity to remain in or return to their home communities. When implemented in alignment with evidence-based practices, effective and fair community supervision leads to permanent exit pathways from the criminal justice system. On the other hand, when implemented poorly or punitively,  community supervision leads to recidivism and re-incarceration.

BPI’s work in this area will focus on:

  1. Transforming community supervision into a cost-effective alternative to incarceration that is rehabilitative, evidence-based, and provides individuals with sustainable exit pathways from the criminal justice system, and
  2. Expanding and enhancing safe and effective alternatives to incarceration at the state and county level.

Re-entry housing

For the tens of thousands of people who exit Illinois prisons and jails in Illinois each year, securing quality housing can be an almost insurmountable task. BPI will be working to expand opportunities for re-entry housing in Illinois, including reducing the barriers of a criminal record to housing access.

Read more about our justice reform efforts

Recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

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