“Decarceration makes us safer - with or without the context of a pandemic.” — DR. NNEKA JONES TAPIA
The decision of whether to release someone pretrial often relies on the perceived risk to the community. However, research shows that time in jail creates its own risks to the safety and well-being of the person detained, their families, and the communities they eventually return to.
This conversation, our third in an 8-part series, explored what pretrial decisions would look like if we took a broader view of safety.
Dr. Jones Tapia is an experienced psychologist who is passionate about mental wellness, criminal justice reform, and supporting young people who have experienced trauma. She leads Justice Initiatives at Chicago Beyond, which focuses specifically on systems-level change and shifting the understanding and narrative around individuals impacted by the justice system.
As a former foster youth and child of a formerly incarcerated parent, Shavonte has spent over a decade of her career using her life experiences to support her work in advancing systemic solutions to the distinct challenges and barriers that system-involved youth and their families face. At PJI, Shavonte develops and implements the organization’s change work and curriculum.
Tenille’s work at PJI is part of a lifelong mission to create safe, nurturing workplaces for people representing diversity of thought, lived experience, gender, race and ethnicity. A CPA by trade, she transitioned to the nonprofit field to align with her spirit of advocacy and social justice. She has spent the last ten years as an executive leader, helping to drive transformational change in nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Urban Families and PJI.
These ten questions — along with a discussion guide and valuable tools and resources — examine the issue by reframing safety and community wellness.