As mayor, I will support increased school internships and community involvement in the schools.
Ultimately, the issue of recidivism begins and ends in communities. It is the communities where
the crime and victimization occur, and communities where the offender leaves behind a family and children at-risk of entering the vicious cycle and communities where offenders are released with poor supervision and resource to reduce their risk. There are near-record numbers of inmates going to prison and being released back to Chicago’s communities each year. And, while the state had made some progress in addressing recidivism, it has not built sufficiently on models established in recent years to move reform forward. The reality is that there is no silver bullet to addressing the vicious cycle of crime and recidivism. It will require front-end prevention, such as alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders, economic development in high poverty and high crime communication and prevention programs for at-risk kids. It will require the prison system to expand on models, such as the Sheridan Drug Prison & Reentry program, to establish real prison-based treatment programs that give inmates the tools to become crime and drug free citizens. And, finally, it will require reentry
programs that have strong supervision and case management and community-based treatment
programs to ensure that parolees are successful.
While there is a tremendous challenge with resources in our state, there had been great progress with innovative social entrepreneurship programs, such as “Sweet Beginnings” and “A Safe
Haven,” that create businesses that hire formerly incarcerated individuals and build resources to
support treatment programs. In addition, I helped create the Community Support & Advisory Council Program (CSAC) to support the Sheridan Drug Prison & Reentry Program that gives community a voice in how to manage the record numbers of parolees in their communities, and helps develop capacity in highcrime neighborhoods. The City of Chicago needs to continue working with the State of Illinois to implement a comprehensive plan for reform.
Reduce the number of arrests by Chicago Police by 33%.
More job opportunities for young people, reduction of school drop out rate, drug treatment on demand, expansion of programs for a “second chance” including expungement, job training,
family support programs
Access to quality education from the very beginning of school is the first place to start to get youth on a track that is not likely to lead them to prison. I will be the “Education Mayor” and will focus much of my energy on working with all stakeholders to make the school system one that a global, highly productive city like Chicago deserves and requires. I am also passionate about facilitating
real coordination between CPS and the City Colleges of Chicago to promote dual enrollment and dual credit programs to get high school students connected to the college experience and college credit before they graduate, thus heightening their preparation and the chance that they will continue on a path of academic achievement that leads to employment. However, the reality remains that many youth will get caught up in the challenges of their environment and may get in trouble in their early years. As such, it is imperative to promote and help bring to scale programs that intervene and bring corrective action to get youth back on a productive path rather than simply emphasizing punitive measures that lead down a path to nowhere. As such, I would
endorse programs like the Community Renewal Society High HOPES campaign, which focuses
training and action of CPS officials around restorative justice practices.