Among the many conversations about criminal justice issues that take place throughout Chicago, one issue gaining more attention among residents is the disparities in policing for certain zip codes/ communities.

To that end, there are several communities on the South and West sides of the city that have staggering numbers of residents who are involved in the criminal justice system. Million Dollar Blocks asserts that although all residents of Chicago receive harsh sentences for a variety of offenses, Chicagoans who live in our segregated, low-income neighborhoods on the west and south sides receive harsher sentences.

This amounts to a war on neighborhoods. What is interesting to note, is that Michelle Alexander, author of the  “The New Jim Crow,” states that mass incarceration is a social construct that endeavors to control specific groups of people, often at early ages, and legally relegates them to second class citizenship, stripping them of basic human rights after being incarcerated.

This community discussion will look at the specific system level changes that need to take place to address these inequities. What societal level changes can we individually and collectively impact?