Laurie Jo Reynolds
and the Chicago 400
“We deliver some of the world’s harshest punishments and then forget to take the chains off.”
Laurie Jo Reynolds is a policy advocate and artist who challenges the demonization, warehousing, and social exclusion of people in the criminal legal system, often long-term efforts at the margins of political viability. She was the organizer of the campaign to close Tamms Correctional Center, the notorious Illinois state supermax prison designed for sensory deprivation. She also focuses on conviction registries, housing banishment laws, and public exclusion zones, which destabilize families and lead to unemployment, incarceration, and homelessness. Reynolds is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is coordinating an alliance to support the Chicago 400.
The Chicago 400 are people with past convictions that require registration who are experiencing homelessness and therefore have to re-register weekly at Chicago Police Headquarters or receive a new felony conviction.