Amnesty International, USA: Amnesty International is dedicated to freeing prisoners of conscience, gaining fair trials for political prisoners, ending torture, political killings and "disappearances," and abolishing the death penalty throughout the world.
Children's Defense Fund: While all of the work the CDF engages in is worthy of support, the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign is one that is critical to understand as it identifies causal effects of our lack of support for our youth and how it directly relates to later criminal activity and a life in and out of prison. Access the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Report by clicking here.
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE): Well thought out position papers.
Criminal Justice Policy Foundation: "A criminal justice system that is honest, fair and effective is one of America's most important institutions."
Drug Policy Alliance: Their mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.
Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.
National Commission on Correctional Health Care: A broad array of resources to encourage correctional health care systems to provide efficient, high quality care.
PolicyLink: A national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.
American Correctional Association: Professional association for corrections professionals.
Cell Block Visions: Art from behind the bars. "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."
Cook County Department of Corrections: Cook County DoC is run by the Cook County Sheriffs Department. This link takes to the relevant page for information on the jail, inmate searches and historical information.
Family and Corrections Network: Resources for Children and families of the incarcerated.
Illinois Department of Corrections: The official site of the IDOC.
National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers: ". . . primary goal is to ensure that the safety and quality of life of the African American community is the equal of all other sectors of our many communities."
National Black Police Association: A nationwide organization of African American Police Associations dedicated to the promotion of justice, fairness, and effectiveness in law enforcement.
Prison Fellowship International beyond crime and punishment: This global organization serves the Body of Christ in prisons and in the community in its ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims and their families; and in its advancement of biblical standards of justice in the criminal justice system.
Prisons Foundation: The Prisons Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts and education behind bars and to working for law and prison reform.
Prison Legal News: An independent monthly publication that reports, reviews and analyzes court rulings and news related to prisoner rights and prison issues.
Restorative Justice online: Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformational.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums: Families Against Mandatory Minimums is the national voice for fair and proportionate sentencing laws. We shine a light on the human face of sentencing, advocate for state and federal sentencing reform, and mobilize thousands of individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by unjust sentences.
Illinois Coalition For Fair Sentencing: The Children and Family Justice Center of the Northwestern University Law School is a founding member of the Illinois Coalition For Fair Sentencing of Children, a group of attorneys, academics, child advocates, and concerned citizens who are pursuing judicial, legislative, and other avenues designed to end the practice of sentencing children under the age of 18 to life without the possibility of parole (“JLWOP”) in Illinois.
The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 Introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009, by Senator Jim Webb, will create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom. Senator Webb's bill will bring together the best minds in America to confer, report, and make concrete recommendations about how we can reform the process.
National Juvenile Defender Center: The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) was created in 1999 to respond to the critical need to build the capacity of the juvenile defense bar and to improve access to counsel and quality of representation for children in the justice system.
The Sentencing Project: The Sentencing Project is a national organization working for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration.
Adoration of the Question: Reflections on the Failure to Reduce Racial & Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System. This report/document raises important questions regarding out tendency to study, study, study, the issues and not act.
Bureau of Justice Statistics: A wealth of information crime and prison statistics. The mission is: "To collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.
Categorically Less Culpable: Children Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole in Illinois a report from the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children.
Cradle to Prison Pipeline Report: From the Children's Defense Fund identifying known causes of our burgeoning prison populations based on correctable issues with our children.
Internet Legal Research Group: This site was established in 1995 to serve as a comprehensive resource of the information available on the Internet concerning law and the legal profession, with an emphasis on the United States of America. Designed for everyone, lay persons and legal scholars alike, it is quality controlled to include only the most substantive legal resources online.
Key data on the burgeoning incarceration problem in the US, including the latest statistics on drug incarceration from the Office of Senator Jim Webb.
Locked Up Potential A strategy for reforming prisons and rehabilitating prisoners: This report is out of the UK by the Prison Reform Working Group of The Centre for Social Justice. The recommendations that result from this analysis have two principal objectives: the reduction of re-offending and the easing of prison overcrowding.
The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs: Since the inception of the war on drugs, African American communities have been subject to high levels of arrest and incarceration for drug offenses. As of 2005, African Americans represented 12% of the total population of drug users, but 34% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 45% of those in state prison for a drug offense. This report from The Sentencing Project
Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity The American prison and jail system is defined by an entrenched racial disparity in the population of incarcerated people. This report from The Sentencing Project provides extensive statistical data on those disparities.