During our trainings, you will learn about the legislative process in Illinois and how a bill really becomes a law, develop skills to navigate Springfield, and build support for issues that matter to you.

These FREE trainings are open to individuals and organizations interested in advancing change in our state through the legislative process in Springfield. While our focus is on criminal legal reform, we try to make our training useful for any issue. If you would like custom training for your organization or network, please contact Lindsey Hammond at lhammond@restorejustice.org.

Upcoming In-Person Chicago Training Dates

These Chicago trainings will be held on Chicago’s South Side. Both upcoming in-person trainings are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Find more information about the trainings below.

Legislative Advocacy 101

Saturday, April 15

Upcoming Virtual Training Dates

Check back for our next virtual training dates.

State Legislative Advocacy 101

  • Learn about legislative advocacy, and understand when and why it is useful
  • Familiarize yourself with how a bill becomes a law in Illinois
  • Develop skills to help you navigate a day in Springfield
  • Identify your representatives
  • Practice key research tools to understand how representatives are influenced
  • Map your influence

Who usually attends?

  • Staff from non-profit organizations who are new to policy advocacy or want a refresher
  • Members of faith groups and clergy
  • Formerly incarcerated people
  • Family members of incarcerated people
  • Students at all different levels
  • Activists from movements or campaigns
  • Members of the gun violence prevention movement who are interested in learning more about CJ reform
  • Professionals who want to use their advocacy time more effectively

Organizations that have utilized our training:

  • DePaul Students Against Incarceration
  • Goldin Institute
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
  • Willow Creek Prison Ministry

What our trainees say:

“Thank you again for hosting the Advocacy Camp last week! It was such perfect timing for me as I started my new role at the [gov. criminal justice policy org] only a week earlier and needed a refresher course. I so much appreciate your thoughtful responses to the questions I’d been thinking about. You, Marshan, and Julie are excellent facilitators and I’d love to take part in any other trainings you may have in the future.” – young criminal justice advocate, new to role at government organization

“I think I am still on a cloud after your teaching last Saturday!  What a gift you were to our group. … We all learned so much, and you just have a great way of sharing your heart on a complicated topic!” – leader of prison ministry in suburban church

“Thank you! I learned so much. I have a nephew in IDOC facing a life sentence, this was his first offense.” – public health outreach worker

“I was going to write you a letter telling you how good your panel-hosting and  presentation were at the recent event at Lewis University, but then I went to Restore Justice’s website and saw something coming up soon. I’m free if you want me to attend [again]. I loved it!” – state senator

“I’ve done this training before but I keep coming because I learn something new every time.” – former juvenile lifer 

“I’m glad I came because as a gun violence advocate, I need to understand how this works and how to talk about things in a way that does not hurt other people.” – parent of gun violence victim

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