Safe and Thriving Communities

Criminal Justice


Create safe communities and an equitable and fair justice system for all residents.

President Preckwinkle visited several Justice Advisory Council grantees, including Umoja Student Development Corporation (above) where she participated in a peace circle in May 2019.

Justice Advisory Council Expands Grant Program, Engages Community

In addition to the Justice Advisory Council's (JAC) continual funding in violence prevention, recidivism reduction and restorative justice, this year the JAC also focused on services to support residents who are returning to their communities after being involved with the justice system. This support comes through a new JAC grant for returning residents and a federal grant the JAC received and is implementing in conjunction with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. The JAC also began distributing grants to help pregnant and post-partum individuals in detention facilities in 2019.
The JAC leads Cook County’s community engagement efforts as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. Through the Safety and Justice Challenge, Cook County has dramatically reduced the Cook County Jail population without negatively impacting public safety, and now provides more community-based treatments and alternatives to incarceration. The JAC implements the community engagement strategy of this work with a racial equity lens and has made efforts to meaningfully include community voice in various points of policy decision-making. This engagement strategy specifically addresses the disproportionate incarceration of Black and Latinx individuals and the impact of mass incarceration on communities of color.

Investing in Communities with Justice Assistance Grants

The Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) committed to increasing its investments in community-based organizations, anti-violence initiatives and reentry services. EMRS educates sister agencies and external partners about funding opportunities for projects aimed at community engagement, law enforcement education and justice-involved communities. DEMRS funded $122,000 to five programs in 2019 through their Justice Assistance Grants and aims to fund six programs in 2020. 

The Policy Roadmap: Five-Year Strategic Plan for Offices Under the President lays the foundation for the next five years of work by the Offices Under the President (OUP) of Cook County. Created under the leadership of the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Toni Preckwinkle, the Policy Roadmap incorporates key policy priorities and strategic objectives and reflects the administration’s core values of equity, engagement and excellence, and a vision for fostering safe, thriving and healthy communities.