IL-CHEP members organize committees to work on specific issues. Each Committee has a chair. If you are interested in joining please contact us. Current committees include:

Freedom to Learn (Campaign)

The Freedom to Learn Campaign of Illinois (FTL) calls for clear and fair statewide policies that allow higher ed in prison programs (or college-in-prison programs) to operate free from undue interference or interruption of their studentsā€™ academic and intellectual pursuits. FTL endeavors to center the needs and voices of prison instructors, incarcerated students, alumni, and families.

Emerging Programs

This committee meets to research and develop resources aimed at starting and supporting new college in prison programs. See their recent resource guideĀ here.

Convening Committee

This committee plans and coordinates events such as panel discussions and regional conferences for members and external audiences geared at central and southern IL to expand/promote HEP.

Cook County Jail Committee

Dedicated to supporting higher education at Cook County Department of Corrections.

Policy Committee

Respond strategically to ongoing policy and operational concerns impacting students inside of IDOC, build in feedback from inside students, advice on best practices.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is an elected body of members who ensure that the coalition operates in a way that is efficient, transparent, and democratic and that our activities are aligned with our mission and goals. We frequently represent IL-CHEP to external audiences, and generally provide leadership to the coalition.

Past Committees:

Decarcerate; Soap and Sanitizer

These committees organized during the height of the COVID pandemic to urge decarceration of IL prisons to save lives. The group organized actions as well as wrote letters, etc. to support clemency. The Soap and Sanitizer committee raised more than $40,000 to purchase soap, hand sanitizer and masks for incarcerated people when the state was unable to do so.