Posts Tagged ‘#criminal justice’

Oct 14

CPS School Closings and the Politics of Fear

By Michael Johnson — This essay was first published in 2013 on the Prison Culture blog at I have been closely following the latest round of school closings as a community organizer with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE). Throughout the process, I have noticed a tendency by those arguing against the closures to rely on particular arguments […]

pencil rubbing by Jacob Klippenstein

No Children Allowed

By Jacob Klippenstein — When I was at the Cook County Criminal Courts (2650 S California Ave) I saw signs on a couple of the courtrooms. I noticed them first outside Room 307 when I heard a child reading line by line, “No children… allowed… in the… courtroom.”  Since phones and cameras are now banned from the courthouse, I […]

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Fearless Leading by the Youth: An Interview

By Victoria "Torii" Crider — This interview transcript was edited down to about one-third the of original length. This transcript comes from an interview that Rozalinda Borcila and Jacob Klippenstein recorded with Torii Crider, an organizer with Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) at the Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) office (at 61st and St. Lawrence) on July 31, […]

Jan 08

View From The Ground

By Daniel Tucker — 07/11/05 AREA Please introduce The View From The Ground project and provide some background on how it has functioned. Jamie The View grew out of a particular history, a particular set of relationships, a particular place and time. Throughout the 90′s, I was deeply engaged in the life of the Stateway Gardens public housing development. […]

Introducing: Roll Call Chicago

By Cassie Fennell — It’s hard to imagine a sea change emerging from the ranks of men and women with little to no earning power, little to no voting power, and few reliable sofas on which to stretch out their limbs each evening. Yet since winter, members of Roll Call, a group of ex-offenders and their allies, have met […]

Awful Acts and the Trouble with Normal

By Erica Meiners — In my Canadian hometown, where my dad’s neighborhood store, Iron Mountain, still sells WD-40 next to the tampons, Clifford Olson “snatched up girls like you,” my principal Mr. Gayle told my best friend Carla Salvail and I. “He will capture you and then…” Olson permeated the spring and summer of 1981. School assemblies lectured us […]

Surveilling Crime Control

By Mess Hall — (…with insights and inspiration from Mess Hall and Rogers Park residents.) Mayor Daley has declared that in the not-too-distant future, there will be a surveillance camera on every block of the city. But as of today, Chicago’s blue-light surveillance cameras are almost exclusively located in low-income communities of color. Rising investments in this surveillance technology, […]

Reflections on Criminal Justice Reform and Philanthropy

By Deborah Harrington — Via email, AREA Chicago speaks to Deborah Harrington, President of the Woods Fund, to get her insights on criminal justice reform in Illinois. What (major) opportunities do you see for creating more coordinated city-wide work around criminal justice issues? How might funds and resources be used to help city-wide efforts realize their full potential? I […]

Covering the Landscape: Justice, Change, and Philanthropy in Chicago

By Jeanne Kracher — Since the 1960s and 70s, I think there has been a change in community consciousness, including in the communities that have been most affected in terms of who goes into prison. “Law and order” became the mantra. Even criminalized communities bought into law and order policies. There are realities about how crime changed in communities. […]

Chicago Justice Project

By Joseph Lipari — AREA Chicago talks to Joseph Lipari and Tracy Siska, creators of a web platform intended to network reports of police abuse throughout the city. Allegations that Chicago police officers engaged in acts of torture at the old Area Two and Three Headquarters date back to 1973. An official inquiry, released in May 2006 and focused […]

A Meadow In Lincoln Park

By Peter Zelchenko — I am pacing. I’m spending the night of August 21, 2008, pacing the floor of a 10’ x 8’4” x 10’ cell in the downtown police lockup at 1718 S. State. I’ve spent some time mentally calculating this, based on the size of a cinder block, eight by sixteen inches including mortar lines. I will […]