The Chain Reaction curriculum is designed to help you use these stories to engage your community about alternatives to calling the police. Click for the Chain Reaction Curriculum doc, and see the attachments for the Chain Reaction workshop.

Other curricula on prisons:

The Chicago PIC Teaching Collective, Project NIA and Chain Reaction have developed lots of other resources and curriculum for teaching about prisons and policing and prison abolition. Check out some of those on

For a 101 workshop on the Prison Industrial Complex from an abolition perspective, see our 4-hour PIC 101 curriculum, complete with many resources, definitions and supporting information.

Other curricula on Transformative Justice and alternatives:

The StoryTelling & Organizing Project (STOP) is a community project collecting and sharing stories about everyday people taking action to end interpersonal violence. Listen to and read these powerful stories and think about integrating them into your workshops or community meetings on alternatives to policing.

Project NIA director Mariame Kaba put together this curriculum guide on Transformative Justice in Fall of 2013 that includes key readings and youth-friendly activities. And Mariame’s blog, Prison Culture, is full of resources on transformative and restorative justice and the problems with prisons in the U.S. today.


Black and Blue is a site about the history and current manifestations of policing, violence and resistance.

Juvenile Justice Resource Hub Information and analysis from policy experts on juvenile justice issues, research, best practice models, policy levers for reform, toolkits, etc

Prison Culture, Mariame Kaba's popular blog, includes an essential reading list and a great list of transformative justice readings

Project Nia's list of books, reports, and other resources for community members to learn more about the juvenile justice system, as well as restorative and transformative justice

Transform Chicago list of books and articles about the Prison Industrial Complex and Prison Abolition, Restorative Justice, Community Accountability, and Transformative Justice

projects and organizations

Many of the sites listed here are connected or affiliated with Project NIA and/or theChicago PIC Teaching Collective, or they are our friends and allies. These resources focus on transformative justice, restorative justice, and prison abolition efforts in the city of Chicago. 

Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S. is a traveling art show that considers how a system of criminalizing & imprisoning Black men and women has been sustained from colonial times to the present.

Chicago Youth Justice Data Project attempts to bring together “current, relevant, and accessible data that could provide us with a deep understanding of the juvenile justice system and serve as a catalyst for social change.” You can find up-to-date data and information in the blog section of the site.

Close Illinois Youth Prisons is the site for Project NIA’s collaborative effort with other organizations to call for the closing of several Illinois youth prisons and the redirection of resources into community-based alternatives.

Girl Talk is a program for girls, ages 12-17, who are detained in the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center (JTDC). After it ended in 2005, the program was re-initiated in 2010 with logistical support from Project NIA.

Juvenile Injustice is the site for the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline ‘zine series created out of a collaboration between Project NIA, the Jane Addams Hull House, and the Chicago Freedom School.

The Missing describes itself as “our response to the intentional disappearing of prisoners in America. It is a community engagement and public art project that aspires to make prisoners more visible to EVERYONE in Chicago.”

Prison Culture is Mariame Kaba’s personal blog about the PIC and how it impacts our lives and a great resource for opinions, links, and information. Mariame is the founder and director of Project NIA. is the home site for a short illustrated book the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective created with art by Billy Dee, who also created the graphics for this website. It is designed to teach people of all ages about the effects of the Prison Industrial Complex. 

Suspension Stories is a youth-led participatory action research project created to help understand the school-to-prison pipeline. The initiative is a result of a collaboration between the Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team and Project NIA.

Transform Chicago emerged from a gathering that we co-organized with some allies in August 2012 about restorative and transformative justice in Chicago. The site includes information about resources related to both approaches.

Unmarked is a campaign pushing the Illinois legislature to pass SB2777, which would help make it easier for young people in Illinois to expunge their criminal records.

Uproar Chicago (2013) is an audio collage documenting how Chicagoans feel about violence in the city.

We Charge Genocide is a grassroots, inter-generational effort to center the voices and experiences of the young people most targeted by police violence in Chicago. It is affiliated with the hashtag #chicopwatch