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Drug Policy and Harm Reduction

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Timed to correspond with the introduction of several new key pieces of legislation in Illinois, we investigated the relative effectiveness of the US-led international war on drugs and other types of approaches to the use and misuse of psychoactive substances. This is one of the most widespread and yet least visible social justice challenges facing Chicago today – while the vast majority of those incarcerated in county facilities are in for nonviolent drug offences, many of those needing access to help for addiction do not seek it due to fear of legal reprisals.

Local Sites
  • Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy
  • Springfield State House
Community Partners
Speaker Series
  • Ed Stellon, Director of Resource and Community Development for Heartland Health Outreach’s (HHO) Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • James Geirach, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois of the ACLU
  • Kathie Kane-Willis, interim director of Roosevelt’s Institute for Metropolitan Affairs and Director of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy
Research Trip


  • Janhuib Blans, social psychologist and epidemiologist in the field of addiction studies
  • Hans van Duijn, Retired Dutch Police Union President and senior advisor to the Minister of Interior and President of the Dutch Police Union
  • Jackie Woerlee, Harm Reduction Activist
  • Amsterdam Public Health Service
  • Dirk Korf, Professor by Special Appointment in Criminology, Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
  • Diederik Boomsma, CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) Party