MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge

In 2015, Cook County became a partner site of the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which aims to reduce unnecessary incarceration and racial disparities in U.S. jails.  Cook County stakeholders, community groups, and technical advisors meet regularly to plan and implement innovative strategies to safely reduce the population in the Cook County Jail and reduce racial and ethnic disparities within that population. This process will result in an application to the MacArthur Foundation in June 2017 for up to $1 million in additional program funding per year.

The Cook County Safety and Justice Challenge is led by representatives from the Office of the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Justice Advisory Council (on behalf of the Cook County Board President); the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; the Cook County State’s Attorney; the Cook County Public Defender; the Chicago Police Department; the Clerk of the Circuit Court; the Cook County Health and Hospitals System; and community based providers and advocates in Cook County.  Community representatives have been drawn from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Safer Foundation, Chicago Survivors, Alumni Association, Lawndale Christian Legal Network, The Night Ministry, North Lawndale Employment Network, Apostolic Church of God, and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC).

Additional details about the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge can be found on the MacArthur Foundation’s website here.


Daily Herald -- MacArthur Foundation awards Cook County grant to reduce jail population

Chicago Sun-Times -- Cook County receives MacArthur Foundation grant to reduce use of jails

Chicago Tribune -- MacArthur grants aimed at reducing inmates in Chicago, other U.S. jails

Upcoming Events


For media inquiries, please contact:

Pat Milhizer, Director of Communications

Office of the Chief Judge

Circuit Court of Cook County

50 W. Washington Street, Suite 2600 Chicago, IL 60602

(312) 603-5160


If you have any feedback on the Safety and Justice Challenge or other questions, please contact us at

Copyright 2018 by Circuit Court of Cook County