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Consultation and Technical Assistance

Citizens Alert

Consultation and technical assistance is an important public service for the College and an important element of Center work. Center staff collaborate with College faculty in helping community based organizations build capacity, assess programs, obtain funding, and address changing community conditions and problems. Examples of past and ongoing work include:

  • Providing technical assistance and training on domestic violence and prisoners’ community reentry to grantees of the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). In addition to conducting training for grantees, the Center provided policy and practice briefings for Federal agency administrators and program officers and recommendations to improve, support, and sustain domestic violence prevention efforts of non-profit and criminal justice agencies.
  • Helping Starting All Over Outreach Ministry, a faith-based grassroots organization in Memphis, Tennessee, build capacity and establish an infrastructure for external support. Staff experiences were documented and are serving as the foundation for a series on ways to support grassroots and faith-based organizations in providing effective prisoner reentry services and in building resource networks in poor, urban communities.
  • Hosting the office of Citizens Alert, a grassroots prison reform organization that has been instrumental in bringing about major police reforms, and staffing the Chicago Coalition for Police Reform. The Center documented the history of Citizens Alert and facilitated the placement of Citizens Alert’s organizational records in the UIC Library archives.
  • Documenting the history and accomplishments of Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), a national grassroots prison reform organization.
  • In partnership with the Illinois African American Family Commission, staffing the Illinois Commission to End Disparities in the African American Community. The two-year long project included convening community meetings throughout Illinois to hear testimony from residents, conducting fact finding via literature reviews and analysis of Illinois social indicators data and participating in meetings with Illinois legislators to discuss findings and recommendations. Center staff also co-authored sections of the Commission’s December 2013 report.
  • Providing policy level assistance to State of Illinois agencies in addressing and coordinating mental health service reforms required by three consent decrees, most recently the Williams Consent Decree. This work builds on the Center’s prior work in addressing state-wide issues and its demonstrated ability to bring together different constituencies around critical social needs.