Advocacy Camp

Restore Justice was founded in 2015 to roll back the most extreme Illinois policies that have led to overincarceration, abuses in the criminal justice system, egregious prison conditions, and burdens on families with loved ones in prison. Our primary focus is on people who are serving more than 40-year criminal sentences from before the age of 25, where we believe Illinois policy has caused the most harm.

One of the cornerstones of our work is advocacy training. We know that we need a strong, diverse base of people who can strategize, educate, advocate, and lead criminal justice reform work. And together, board and staff members at Restore Justice have decades of experience passing both radical and incremental reforms in Illinois. Sharing and growing that experience is central to our mission.

Our training consists of four distinct sections, each lasting 1-2 hours, which can be offered separately or together as a one- or two-day “camp.”

Section 1: How it Works

  • Learn about legislative advocacy, and understand when and why it is useful
  • Familiarize yourself with how a bill becomes a law in Illinois
  • Develop skills to help you navigate a day in Springfield

Section 2: Prepare Yourself for Illinois Legislative Advocacy

  • Map your sphere of influence
  • Identify and get to know your representatives

Section 3: Speak (Your) Truth to Power

  • Break down and share your story
  • Work on long-form and short-form versions of your personal story to use in advocacy settings

Section 4: How to Talk About Criminal Justice Reform

  • Understand different audiences
  • Cut an issue into a talking point or a set of messages
  • Handle difficult conversations and conflict

Schedule Your Own Training

Restore Justice offers training, free of cost, to colleague organizations seeking to engage their own staff, board, participants, or constituents in the legislative process in Illinois. Please contact Jobi Cates at jcates@restorejustice.org to schedule a training.

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