The CFJC helped to found and staff the Illinois Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Children (‘Coalition’) in 2006 in response to the legal system's impulse to punish instead of rehabilitate youth. The Coalition aims to protect the rights of youth to fair and equitable treatment in the criminal justice system. Currently, the Coalition seeks to end the practice of sentencing children to prison for the rest of their lives without hope of release. The Coalition believes that the criminal justice system must account for the unique needs and experiences of youth, and that all youth deserve second chances to make better choices. This year the CFJC is requesting $25,000 for ongoing organizational support and to fund the work of its Outreach Coordinator. With continued support from the Woods Fund, the Coalition aims to accelerate its community outreach efforts. To abolish life without parole for juveniles, the CFJC, through the Coalition, has a multi-pronged strategy which recognizes that the courts are only one of many venues to challenge the legality and appropriateness of sentences for youth. In that vein, the Coalition has emphasized the importance of legislative advocacy, public education, and coalition-building in addition to legal avenues of relief. The CFJC has, in recent years, taken a deliberate approach to ensuring that those most affected by the work have a hand in guiding the CFJC’s reform efforts. Moreover, the CFJC has recognized the need to connect the issue of extreme sentencing of youth to other experiences concerning communities, such as gun and gang violence, failing public schools, lack of employment opportunities, and divestment of neighborhoods generally.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/15 → 8/31/16|
- Woods Fund of Chicago (Ltr.4/15/15)
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