University News

McCormick Foundation Funds 
 Adler University’s Evaluation of 
 New Restorative Justice Court 05.16.18
McCormick Foundation Funds
Adler University’s Evaluation of
New Restorative Justice Court
05.16.18

Thanks to a generous grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Adler University will measure the impact of a groundbreaking community court in North Lawndale that could become a model for transforming how justice is delivered for young adults throughout Chicago and the U.S.

The Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) at Adler University received a $130,000 grant to evaluate the North Lawndale Restorative Justice Community Court, which opened in July 2017. The court offers qualifying 18- to 26-year-old adults charged with non-violent felonies and misdemeanors an alternative to incarceration.

“The North Lawndale community has been decimated by the traditional criminal justice system, while restorative justice addresses crime and can strengthen communities,” said Elena Quintana, Ph.D., executive director of IPSSJ. “Using restorative justice practices, this court has the potential to reduce incarceration, recidivism and the accompanying high costs to society. With the McCormick Foundation’s support, we’ll be able to assess the court and share best practices with courts across the country.”

The Restorative Justice Community Court is one of the first of its kind in the country. An official court of record, it represents a collaboration among community-based service providers and the Circuit Court of Cook County.

In the court, young adults take accountability for their actions and work out an agreement with the person harmed and the community that can focus on restitution, community service, and letters of apology. The approach helps reintegrate offenders back into the community by connecting them with individualized services including mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and education.

“The Restorative Justice Court in North Lawndale is one of the most promising opportunities to break the cycle of incarceration for young people,” said David Hiller, President and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Adler University to begin evaluating the program and establishing best practices that can be shared and replicated in other Chicagoland communities.”

The evaluation will include both quantitative and qualitative assessments of participating adults and a control group comprised of those who have been involved in the traditional criminal justice system. Among measured outcomes will be the psychosocial changes that result from restorative justice programming, such as changes in empathy, social support and relationships.

The McCormick Foundation grant supports the evaluation for one year. IPSSJ staff will work collaboratively with North Lawndale community members and court officials to conduct rigorous research, which could impact criminal justice reform on a national and global scale.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s mission is fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic grant-making and Cantigny Park, the Foundation works to make life better in Chicagoland. The McCormick Foundation, among the nation's largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Find out more at www.mccormickfoundation.org.

Contact

Carrie Frillman
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: 312.662.4126
cfrillman@adler.edu