Day: March 3, 2013

25 Concrete Things To Do To Abolish Prisons in Illinois

1. Fight against the proposed CPS budget cuts. Join a rally on WEDNESDAY JUNE 26, 125 S. Clark, CPS Headquarters, PICKET! 8:30 AM. Download a flyer here.

2. Learn about and advocate for restorative and transformative justice.

3. Join the Mental Health Movement which is fighting to save our existing mental health clinics from closure in Chicago.

4. Interrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Support the Yes to Counselors, No to More Cops in Schools Campaign. Find out more here.

5. Interrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Teach youth how to catalogue police harassment and overdiscipline at school. Encourage youth to join existing coalitions like Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) to organize against harsh school discipline policies that lead to school pushout.

6. Support the young people from Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) as they organize to bring a needed trauma center to the Southside that will serve EVERYONE. Sign their petition here and organize with them here.

7. Support the efforts of several community organizations to close the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) and re-direct the funds to community-based alternatives to detention and to programming that will support youth. Read their position paper.

8. Support youth-led efforts like the Street Youth Rise Up Campaign (organized by the Young Women’s Empowerment Project) which are documenting and organizing against institutional violence. Share their Bad Encounter Line report with others.

9. Join the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign.

10. Invite youth members of the Know Your Rights Project to speak with their peers and adults about their rights in the criminal legal system (especially with law enforcement). Schedule a workshop here.

11. Join parents across Chicago who are organizing for quality education and against the school-to-prison pipeline through POWER-PAC and Community Organizing & Family Issues.

12. Get educated about the PIC. Attend upcoming workshops. Details are here.

13. Gather a group of people together and invite members of the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective to your religious institution or community group to offer our 4 hour PIC 101 workshop. Details are here.

14. Host your own teach-in about the prison industrial complex with 5 friends in your self-defined community. Use the zine titled “The PIC Is” as a starting point for discussion.

15. Support organizations that are fighting against immigrant detention and deportations. These include groups like the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign.

16. Support and join the campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage in Illinois.

17. If you care about programs that affect the lives of children, become an advocate with Illinois Action For Children.

18. Support and join the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce to create and disseminate RELEVANT curricula for young people in CPS and beyond.

19. Reach out to those currently locked up behind bars. Support Chicago Books for Women in Prison, TAMMS-YEAR 10, Write to Win, Transformative Justice Law Project.

20. Stop relying on and calling the police to solve any and all community problems. Consider alternatives to policing. If you would like to schedule a listening session about alternatives to policing in your community, contact You need to gather a group of at least 10 people.

21. Join the Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow as they organize against police violence.

22. Start a Creative Resistance Project like the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials or use an existing toolkit from the Missing Project for ideas to implement in your community.

23. Refuse to serve on juries for drug cases or consider nullification if you do serve on drug cases as a juror.

24. Time is NOT money. Open your wallets and contribute needed funds to local organizations who are addressing issues of concern in your community and beyond. Also insist the public resources be spent on education, healthcare, youth programs, housing, etc… rather than police & prisons.

25. Finally, pay attention to the laws that are being proposed at the city, state, and federal level. Ask yourself if the proposed law is going to “extend or curtail the reach of the PIC.” If the answer is extend it, then mobilize to oppose these laws. Vote against TOUGH ON CRIME politicians at all levels of government. You can follow some of the juvenile justice related laws here. Other information about decarceration can be found here.