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Punishment Is Not a "Service"

October 24, 2017

In the past two years, community organizers and advocates have made dramatic headway in the fight to end money bond and pretrial incarceration in Cook County. The most significant and recent victory is the introduction of General Order 18.8A by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans, effective September 18, 2017.Following litigation and public pressure to reduce the number of people locked up in Cook County Jail only because they cannot pay a monetary bond, the order is supposed to ensure that judges do not set money bond except in amounts that people can pay. If followed, the order represents a dramatic shift away from unpaid money bond as the primary driver of pretrial incarceration and toward a new respect for the presumption of innocence in Cook County. Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) and our partners in The Coalition to End Money Bond are currently working to ensure that the order is fully implemented and that no one is incarcerated in Cook County Jail solely because they cannot pay a money bond.As more people are diverted from the jail, CCBF is increasing our focus on what is happening to those individuals who previously would have been incarcerated. Through our work posting bond for people who cannot afford it themselves and observing Central Bond Court, CCBF has consistently observed conditions of pretrial release that operate as a form of pretrial punishment. Since 2015, CCBF has posted bond to free 98 people. Of these people, more than one in four were subjected to punitive pretrial conditions, including electronic monitoring, overnight or 24-hour curfews, monthly check-ins with a Pretrial Services officer, and drug testing—all after we posted their significant monetary bonds. These conditions are ordered by the court, most often by judges in bond court, and overseen by either the Pretrial Services Division or the Sheriff's Office.Under the guise of helping accused people come back to court and avoid re-arrest, pretrial conditions restrict the liberty of innocent people and even mimic the same harms as pretrial incarceration, causing loss of jobs, housing, access to medical care and putting severe strain on social support networks and family members. Pretrial conditions such as curfews actually place more severe restrictions on freedom than sentences received after conviction, such as probation, supervision, and conditional discharge. Furthermore, punitive pretrial conditions coerce people to plead guilty, undermining accused people's rights and recreating the negative impacts of incarceration in jail. These pretrial conditions violate the presumption of innocence that seeks to prevent punishment before conviction.The current punitive approach of the Pretrial Services Division plays a key role in driving this troubling trend. Over the last six months, CCBF has repeatedly seen Pretrial Services impose punitive conditions on individuals for whom CCBF has posted bond. Through their observations of Central Bond Court from August to October 2017, volunteer courtwatchers with the Coalition to End Money Bond also documented regular imposition of onerous pretrial conditions such as curfews, as well as electronic monitoring operated by the Sheriff's Office. The full extent and impact of these punishments are not transparent: Advocates and the public are unable to access the most basic information about Pretrial Service's systemic impact because it is housed under the Office of the Chief Judge and thus not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation

January 1, 2015

Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and the education of young children bear a great responsibility for their health, development, and learning. Despite the fact that they share the same objective - to nurture young children and secure their future success - the various practitioners who contribute to the care and the education of children from birth through age 8 are not acknowledged as a workforce unified by the common knowledge and competencies needed to do their jobs well.Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 explores the science of child development, particularly looking at implications for the professionals who work with children. This report examines the current capacities and practices of the workforce, the settings in which they work, the policies and infrastructure that set qualifications and provide professional learning, and the government agencies and other funders who support and oversee these systems. This book then makes recommendations to improve the quality of professional practice and the practice environment for care and education professionals. These detailed recommendations create a blueprint for action that builds on a unifying foundation of child development and early learning, shared knowledge and competencies for care and education professionals, and principles for effective professional learning.Young children thrive and learn best when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are knowledgeable about how to support their development and learning and are responsive to their individual progress. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 offers guidance on system changes to improve the quality of professional practice, specific actions to improve professional learning systems and workforce development, and research to continue to build the knowledge base in ways that will directly advance and inform future actions. The recommendations of this book provide an opportunity to improve the quality of the care and the education that children receive, and ultimately improve outcomes for children

Life After Youth Media: Insights about Program Influence into Adulthood

April 29, 2014

* Do the skills, attitudes, and behaviors imparted in youth programs "stick" into adulthood?* If they do, how do they manifest in career, education, and life decisions?* How do the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that youth programs try to impart differ based on program intensity or levels of engagement?* Do these elements look different for people who went through youth media programs versus people who went through other types of youth programs?These are common questions that youth program providers, funders, public officials, and other leading thinkers regularly wrestle with. This report tells the story of a group in Chicago committed to providing quality youth media programming in the city and how, through a collective evaluation, they were able to begin to answer these critical questions.

Life After Youth Media: Insights about Program Influence into Adulthood, Executive Summary

April 29, 2014

Do the skills, attitudes, and behaviors imparted in youth programs "stick" into adulthood?If they do, how do they manifest in career, education, and life decisions?How do the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that youth programs try to impart differ based on program intensity or levels of engagement?Do these elements look different for people who went through youth media programs versus people who went through other types of youth programs?These are common questions that youth program providers, funders, public officials, and other leading thinkers regularly wrestle with. This report, funded by The Robert. R. McCormick Foundation, tells the story of a group in Chicago committed to providing quality youth media programming in the city and how, through a collective evaluation, they were able to begin to answer these critical questions.

Voices of Parents on Raising and Educating Their Children from Birth to College: A Teaching Case Study

November 1, 2013

This case study helps to fill the gap between the valuable assets that parents bring to their children's learning and the lack of attention given to parental voices in discourse about the current and future condition of public education for students from the earliest years through young adulthood. It presents the self-constructed narratives of twenty-oneparents about how parents, themselves, think about and work towards the development, education, and future successes of their children.

Promoting Veteran Career Success Through Employer Partnership

January 1, 2013

In 2013, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation joined forces to form the Veterans Working Group (VWG) as a community of knowledge dedicated to veteran employment efforts. Since its inception, the group has progressed into an effective model of collaboration among employers and community partners, all seeking to make Chicagoland a better place for military veterans and servicemembers to live and work. With representatives from more than 40 Commercial Club employers and related community organizations, the VWG is unique in its approach. This case study outlines the important work that the VWG has done to promote veteran career success. 

New Veterans in Illinois: A Call to Action

December 1, 2012

This report looks at the unique needs of veterans in Illinois and the Chicago region who have returned to the U.S. since 2001. New veterans face a challenging context upon return: an economy with few job openings, systems of care that have grown accustomed to serving older and predominantly male veterans, and personal resistance to seeking help. These veterans need to have sufficient supports available to them in order to prevent the long-term negative impacts that many previous veteran cohorts have suffered. This report provides a demographic snapshot of new veterans and explains what services they need.

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 1, Background and Picture of Need of New Veterans

December 1, 2012

The newest cohort of veterans of the United States Armed Forces is a unique population with particular needs. They face a challenging context upon return: an economy with few job openings, systems of care that have grown accustomed to serving older and predominantly male veterans, and personal reluctance to seekhelp. The newest veterans-military service members who have been deployed in 2001 or later-may also suffer from mental and physical injuries that act as barriers to reintegration into civilian life. These veterans require sufficient supports in order to prevent the long-term negative impacts that many previous veteran cohorts have suffered. **This is the first in a series of four briefs that provide a snapshot of new and future veterans, their needs, and their service utilization in Illinois and the Chicago region.

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 3, Future Veterans

December 1, 2012

The newest cohort of veterans of the United States Armed Forces is a unique population with particular needs. They face a challenging context upon return: an economy with few job openings, systems of care that have grown accustomed to serving older and predominantly male veterans, and personal reluctance to seekhelp. The newest veterans-military service members who have been deployed in 2001 or later-may also suffer from mental and physical injuries that act as barriers to reintegration into civilian life. These veterans require sufficient supports in order to prevent the long-term negative impacts that many previous veteran cohorts have suffered. **This is the third in a series of four briefs that provide a snapshot of new and future veterans, their needs, and their service utilization in Illinois and the Chicago region.

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 4, Service Utilization

December 1, 2012

The newest cohort of veterans of the United States Armed Forces is a unique population with particular needs. They face a challenging context upon return: an economy with few job openings, systems of care that have grown accustomed to serving older and predominantly male veterans, and personal reluctance to seekhelp. The newest veterans-military service members who have been deployed in 2001 or later-may also suffer from mental and physical injuries that act as barriers to reintegration into civilian life. These veterans require sufficient supports in order to prevent the long-term negative impacts that many previous veteran cohorts have suffered. **This is the fourth in a series of four briefs that provide a snapshot of new and future veterans, their needs, and their service utilization in Illinois and the Chicago region.

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 2, New Veterans

December 1, 2012

This brief presents a picture of Illinois' new veterans, or individuals from Illinois who have served in themilitary since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in 2001. It uses data from the U.S.Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). According to the ACS, there are approximately76,000 a new veterans living in Illinois, and they make up about 8 percent of the total veteran populationin Illinois. Information on the personal characteristics, geographic location, employment and income,discharge status, and disability status of new veterans presented in this brief can help service providersunderstand the service needs of new veterans and facilitate their reintegration to civilian life.

Building a Birth-to-College Model: Professional Learning Communities

December 1, 2012

The newest in a planned series of case studies on building a birth-to-college model of education released by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI) and the Ounce of Prevention Fund this case study outlines how to create professional learning communities (PLCs) of teachers, administrators and family support staff spanning the early childhood to K-12 spectrum. The intent of the PLCs is to create environments where practitioners take the lead in collaboratively studying and piloting effective, developmentally informed practices that prepare children for college, beginning at birth.This teaching case study is intended to illustrate the evolutionary process of PLC development by UEI and the Ounce and inform the work of others interested in building similar birth-to-college systems to benefit children and families. It is based on interviews of 25 participants in the Birth-to-College Partnership, observations of PLC and other Birth to-College Partnership meetings over the six-month period between January 2012 and June 2012, and a review of Birth-to-College meeting notes and other documents dating back to June 2010.