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Returning Citizens Network (RCN)

Since February 2018, Restore Justice has hosted monthly meetings for returning citizens. These meetings are led by Restore Justice’s impacted staff and attended by individuals who have been impacted by the Illinois criminal legal system.


RCN meetings have become a safe space for system-impacted individuals to network, and to share personal stories, experiences, coping strategies, peer support, and re-entry resources. Most of the people who attend these meetings are directly involved in community organizing, criminal legal system reform, or youth mentoring programs.

Often, we partner with other organizations such as Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation and Chicago Torture Justice Center to help host these meetings, as well as expand the network. These RCN meetings, which were once all men, have grown to include women and some system-impacted children. The most meaningful aspect of these meetings is that they help returning citizens develop a sense of togetherness–when returning to society after serving a long sentence, it is important to have a safe space to deal with the stressors of life after incarceration.

Examples of resources and events RCN offers:

Financial Literacy Fairs

We bring in organizations to teach returning citizens about banking, credit, budgeting, etc.

Technology Fairs

We bring in one of our partner organizations to teach returning citizens how to navigate technology, including laptops, tablets, cell phones (iPhone/Android), and Google Workspace.

Group Outings

We host outings that allow our returning citizens to have fun and strengthen their bonds with one another. We have organized gatherings at Top Golf, Kings Bowling Alley, as well as an annual Returning Citizens Softball Game. These meetings are a great pathway to healing after incarceration.