For decades, BPI has worked to strengthen neighborhoods around Chicago and throughout the region. This experience has led us to one inescapable conclusion: Our criminal justice system plays a significant role in the health and well-being of our communities and the individuals who live in them. Unfortunately, our justice system is deeply flawed and in need of urgent reform.
In 2016, BPI served on the Legal Oversight and Accountability Working Group of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, and was active in the effort to enact two vital structural reforms.. Currently, BPI is working with a coalition of 10 community organizations from across the city to develop a meaningful community-driven engagement process to help begin to build trust between the community and the police department and to ensure that any reforms that move forward are informed by those most affected by policing in the city.
BPI’s overarching goals in the criminal justice arena are to reduce prison and jail populations in Illinois’ juvenile and adult systems, reduce recidivism, and increase educational, housing and employment opportunities for released prisoners. Current initiatives include:
October 2016: The Mayor and Chicago City Council approves an ordinance creating two new stronger and better funded entities to investigate police misconduct:
April 2016: The Mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force produces a series of hard-hitting recommendations to reform a badly broken system.
February 2016: State legislators approve the closure of the Kewanee Youth Detention Center as the number of youth in prison drops.
2014: BPI partners with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) to craft a comprehensive operating plan designed to:
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