Research consistently suggests that youth incarceration does not in fact “lower” crime and is not cost-effective. In fact, incarceration mainly insures that those young people who are impacted will end up in the adult criminal legal system. Youth who commit crimes need alternatives to incarceration in community settings; they should not be imprisoned. It now costs an average of $90,000 a year to incarcerate one juvenile in Illinois. Can’t we think of something better and less destructive to do with this money? Help us urge the Illinois General Assembly to close the Youth Prisons at Murphysboro and Joliet!

Diverting money from these prisons provides necessary funds for more effective community based alternatives that young people desperately need. It also frees up much needed funds for our public school system. In response to the broken P.I.C. two Loyola University Chicago students working alongside Project NIA will stand in solidarity with imprisoned juveniles through a STARVE THE P.I.C. hunger strike beginning April 8th. This hunger strike will expose the injustice of the P.I.C. and raise awareness for Project NIA, who works to create sustainable community based alternatives instead of prison time for juveniles. Over $500 dollars have been raised through individual donations for Project NIA’s Starve the P.I.C. initiative thus far and additionally $50 will be earned per day of the hunger strike.

All proceeds will be donated to Project NIA to help fund our work to encourage community based alternatives for juveniles trapped in this unjust and costly criminal (in)justice system. While we have made some headway, Project NIA needs your help. Every dollar will support our advocacy work to develop alternatives to incarceration, reach young people through education and intervention programs, and expand awareness about the prison-industrial complex. Apathy is not an option; cooperation and activism is the solution!

Help us Starve the Prison-Industrial Complex. If you are interested in contributing or learning more about this important initiative please contact Project NIA volunteer Caelyn Randall (616) 337-4142.

Donations can also be sent directly to Project Nia @

Project NIA
C/o Rogers Park Community Council
1530 West Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626