2019-2020 is the third school year that middle and high school teachers must teach about the history of torture committed under the direction of disgraced Police Commander Jon Burge and the fight waged by survivors and their allies for justice. In 2015, organizers won the passage of a Chicago city ordinance which awarded a full reparations package to survivors and included the creation of the “Reparations Won” curriculum which CPS finally launched.  The curriculum includes lessons for three to five week classes – titled “Reparations Won: A Case Study in Police Torture, Racism And the Movement for Justice in Chicago.”

The Chicago Torture Justice Center has coordinated with CTU and CTUF to support professional development of the curriculum by working with educators during the start of each school year. CTJC also coordinates a Survivor and Family Member Speakers Bureau where survivors and family members share their personal testimony about their experiences and perspective regarding incarceration, the reparations campaign, and the ongoing work at the Center.

To request a speaker to visit your school or institution, please visit this page and complete the speaker request form. 

News coverage of the curriculum:

CPS Adding New Course on History of Jon Burge Torture Cases

In Chicago, reparations aren’t just an idea. They’re the law

CPS to teach 8th, 10th graders about Jon Burge legacy as part of reparations

How Chicago’s Public Schools Are Teaching the History of Police Torture



The Chicago Torture Justice Center seeks to address the traumas of police violence and institutionalized racism through access to healing and wellness services, trauma-informed resources, and community connection. The Center is a part of and supports a movement to end all forms of police violence.

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September 21, 2020