Program Overview

Created and facilitated by Illinois Humanities, Envisioning Justice will engage Chicagoans of all neighborhoods, races, socio-economic backgrounds, and with a diversity of perspectives, in a citywide conversation about the impact of incarceration in local communities and will invite residents to use the arts and humanities to devise strategies for lessening this impact. Envisioning Justice seeks to strengthen efforts to reimagine our criminal legal system and is inspired by the goals of justice, accountability, safety, support, and restoration for all people.

At the heart of this initiative are seven Chicago communities (in five neighborhoods) directly affected by incarceration and SkyArt/Just Art & Free Write Arts & Literacy offering arts classes inside the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) and Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC).

Envisioning Justice partners with community-based organizations (Hubs) across the city to create arts education and community discussion programs that promote creative solutions by Chicagoans to the negative impacts of incarceration in their community.

Bright Star Community Outreach

#TheBreathingRoom Space
Back of the Yards

OPEN Center for the Arts 
Little Village

BBF Family Services
North Lawndale

Circles and Ciphers
Rogers Park

SkyArt/Just Art
Facilitates Programming at Cook County Jail (Cook County Department of  Corrections)

Free Write Arts & Literacy
Facilitates Programming at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

To complement the arts education and community dialogues at the hubs, Envisioning justice will offer:

  • Citywide Grants: for arts and humanities programs in jails and prisons, for communications efforts to better tell stories about policy and data, and for community-led discussions.
  • Multimedia journalism and documentation of Envisioning Justice activities.
  • A humanities education course for high school youth.
  • Final exhibition including seven artist commissions, community artwork from the hubs, and other relevant works.

For more information, visit or email us at