Funding is meant to stop violence and provide alternatives to jail
CHICAGO, IL – Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Chuy Garcia will visit the offices of the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub, a project of Southside Together Organizing for Power’s, to announce her new $500,000 investment in restorative justice organizations. President Preckwinkle committed to the Reclaim Campaign which includes STOP and the Community Renewal Society last year to support restorative justice as an alternative to incarceration and a strategy to stop the violence. The $500,000 will be released as grants which organizations will be eligible to apply for later this month.
â€œThrough our Justice Advisory Council, we invest in locally based initiatives that emphasize restorative justice, recidivism reduction and violence prevention,â€ said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. â€œI view the programs we support as key components in the network of services we are building to reach everyone who experiences violence, whether they are characterized as victims or offenders.â€
Darrius Lightfoot, a youth organizer with Fearless Leading by the Youth and a participant in the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub, says that “the Restorative Justice Hub has engaged street involved youth to give them an alternative path, to engage them as peacemakers. This work is real, we have young people helping to mediate a street conflict going on right now. Restorative Justice Hubs invest in long term relationships to provide peace circles, mentorship, jobs and other services that people caught up in the streets need.”
Father Larry Dowling, the priest of St. Agatha’s Parish in North Lawndale and a member of the Community Renewal Society, says that “building the community’s restorative justice capacity has been key to stopping countless conflicts from escalating, we building the capacity of our community to be peacemakers.”
This event is being organized by the Reclaim Campaign a coalition which includes the Community Renewal Society, Southside Together Organizing for Power / Fearless Leading by the Youth, and the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.