“Restore Justice” means to roll back harmful policies and practices that came from the “tough on crime” movement of the 1990s.
These policies made it possible for children to be given sentences of life-without-parole, for the removal of second chances for those who were convicted of violent crimes, for a sharp increase in inhumane prison conditions, and for a dismantling of rehabilitative and re-entry programming.
Restore Justice is a 501 [c] 3 charitable organization that was founded in late 2015 to be the sister organization to Restore Justice Illinois, a 501 [c] 4 civic group dedicated to state-level legislative advocacy for criminal justice reform.
Restore Justice focuses on youth (children and young adults, under age 25) convicted of crimes who are serving sentences of 40 or more in the adult system, or who are at risk of facing such sentencing in the adult system. We develop holistic approaches to policy change for this group of people, with implications on the broader criminal justice system:
· Judicial discretion
· Sentencing policy
· Post-sentencing policy
· Prison policy, conditions and resources
· Pre-Release services and support
· Post-Release services and support
In order to achieve significant impact on a difficult aspect of the criminal justice reform landscape, Restore Justice by setting priorities and identifying or creating concrete solutions to problems based on the real experience of inmates and their families.
We will then conduct legal, policy and impact research to illuminate strategies to meet those priorities and to provide proof points on solution sets where necessary.
Concurrently, we engage diverse communities and new constituencies to get behind these priorities in a meaningful way (as we will reciprocate with them on their priorities), and we educate the public and policy-makers on do-able solutions.
Restore Justice Illinois then implements smart lobbying and electoral strategies to ensure solutions have their best chance of implementation.