Staff Biographies

Jobi Cates

Jobi Cates is executive director and founder of Restore Justice, a statewide criminal justice reform organization focused on long-term incarceration and its impact on individuals, families, and communities. From 2008 through 2014, Jobi was the Senior Director of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Office of Human Rights Watch (HRW). In her role there, she led the legislative and communications efforts of a broad-based coalition to end the practice of sentencing children who commit serious crimes to “life without parole.” Jobi has extensive non-profit leadership experience over more than 25 years, including roles as Executive Director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and Executive Director of the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation. She has served in government twice, leading initiatives for Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. As a consultant, Jobi has managed projects for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fund for a Safer Future, the Asset Funders Network, the Chicago Community Trust, and Americares. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, the mother of two children, and an avid crafter.

Selected Media and Writing:

Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is the Outreach Coordinator for Restore Justice and the mother of Eric, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of Parole (LWOP) in 1995 when he was 15 years old. Eric is now 39.  Due to the 2012 United States Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama, in 2017 Eric was resentenced to 30 years, his release date is 2025.   Julie is the founder and coordinator of Communities & Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children (CRIIC). CRIIC members are family and friends of those who are serving extreme sentences.  They offer each other support and encouragement while working to bring back second chances for young people.  Julie is a part-time staff member at both Restore Justice and Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR).  PBMR is located in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago and is a Restorative Justice Hub.  Restore Justice educates and works with legislators to adopt policies that recognize the difference between adults and young people, create pathways out of prison, while also addressing current prison conditions.  Julie also serves on the board of the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) and is on the Steering Committee for the National Family Network for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY).    

Marshan Allen

Marshan Allen is a project manager at Restore Justice Foundation, a statewide criminal justice reform organization. He manages advocacy, outreach, and other projects to reduce over-incarceration, improve prison conditions, and promote economic security for long-term inmates and their families.

Marshan received a sentence of life-without-parole for an offense that occurred when he was 15 years of age but was released after almost 25 years because of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Miller vs Alabama. While incarcerated, Marshan held positions as a law clerk, inventory clerk, and teacher’s aide, among others. In 2006, he assisted the Illinois State Bar Association with a revision of Post-Trial Remedies: A Handbook for Illinois’ Prisoners. He has earned certificates in paralegal studies, business management, computer technology, and restorative justice, and he holds an associate degree from Lake Land College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Since being released from the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2016, he has served on the board of Restore Justice Foundation and is an active participant in the Incarcerated Children’s Action Network (ICAN). Before joining the staff of Restore Justice Foundation, Marshan had been promoted to shift supervisor from a barista at Starbucks.

In 2018, the Illinois Judges Association presented Marshan with the Recognition of Excellence in Outreach Award, for participating in Your Future, Your Choice, a program designed to teach school-aged children about aspects of the law that they often find themselves in conflict with. The Young Lawyer Section of the Chicago Bar Association presented him with the 2019 Liberty Bell Award. Marshan also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY).

Selected Media and Writing:

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