The Circuit Court of Cook County is set to launch its latest effort to address nonviolent crime and prevent recidivism with the opening of new Restorative Justice Community Courts in Chicago's Avondale and Englewood neighborhoods, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans announced.
These new neighborhood courts follow the success of the state's first Restorative Justice Community Court in the North Lawndale neighborhood, launched in 2017. Both the Avondale and Englewood community courts will open Monday, Sept. 14.
The Avondale court will be held at St. Hyacinth Basilica, Resurrection Hall, 3647 W. George St.; while the Englewood court will be held at the Salvation Army's Adele and Robert Stern Red Shield Center, 845 W. 69th St.
The community court resolves conflicts through restorative conferences and peace circles involving defendants, victims, family members, friends, others affected by the crime, and the community. Victims have the opportunity to directly address the defendant to express how they were hurt and what they need to heal from the crime.
Defendants must repair the harm caused by their actions through community service. If one of the defendant's problems is substance abuse, they also must go through a program to address that issue.