The Illinois Prison Project



Chicago, IL

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $482,996
Expenses: $358,432
Assets: $296,268


Left-of-center activist organization


Jennifer Soble

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The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a left-of-center organization that advocates for lenient criminal sentences and early releases from prison. 1 The organization was formerly sponsored by the Restore Justice Foundation, but as of 2020 the IPP had fully merged with the Restore Justice Foundation. 2 The IPP provides legal services and has managed several public education campaigns, including the Treatment Not Torture and the We Are More initiatives.


The Illinois Prison Project has provided legal services and engaged in lobbying initiatives to oppose stronger criminal justice enforcement in Illinois. The organization’s mission statement declared “deeply ingrained systemic racism” is a factor for incarceration. The organization’s mission also included “fight[ing] against regressive policies, racist practices,” and the criminal justice system which the IPP has viewed as hopeless, compassionless, and inhumane. 3 The IPP also has listed at least four “principles” of which one was “our criminal legal system is rooted in racism.” 4

The organization’s Twitter page has included as of September 2022 a post that said, “Don’t know who needs to hear this but there is no such thing as a ‘humane’ prison. #FreeThemAll.” 5 In April 2020, both the IPP and its funder, Restore Justice, published recommendations to “expand and accelerate early prison releases throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” 6 The organization has supported criminal law changes in Illinois, such as the SAFE-T Act to eliminate cash bail and challenge police practices. It has also publically denied that those changes had any connection to the subsequent 2022 nationwide uptick in violent crime. 7

Treatment Not Torture

Treatment Not Torture is an IPP campaign opposed to solitary confinement, particularly with the mentally ill, in the penal system. The campaign has been active since 2021 and was the primary campaign listed on the IPP website. 8 The IPP stated that the practice of solitary confinement is torture and has claimed the practice is also racially discriminatory. 9

We Are More

A post about the We Are More campaign was the pinned tweet from the IPP Twitter page as of 2022, and in tweet the campaign stated critics against lenient criminal sentencing are “fear mongering.” 10 The campaign would present formerly-incarcerated individuals to criticize sentencing practices. 11


The IPP was originally fiscally sponsored by the similarly left-of-center criminal leniency organization, the Restore Justice Foundation. As of 2020, the IPP and Restore Justice completed a back-end merger under which IPP was afterwards under the Restore Justice nonprofit. 12 According to the tax returns of Restore Justice, $53,011 was the start-of-year assets for the IPP. 13

Several foundations have publically supported the IPP. Funders include Crossroads Fund, Arnold Ventures, Albert and Anne Mansfield Foundation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Illinois Humanities, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, Illinois Access to Justice, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. 14


Jennifer Soble is the founder and has also worked as the executive director of the Illinois Prison Project. Previously, Soble was a staff attorney in the trial division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and an Assistant Federal Defender in the Northern District of Indiana. She had also served as a Senior Legal Counsel to the Tides Center project the Justice Collaborative. 15

On her personal Twitter page, Soble had pinned a 2021 tweet which said, “Prosecutors keep arguing that clemency should be reserved for ‘miscarriages of justice.’ That’s bulls[**]t. Clemency is mercy, and we must create space for and normalize mercy every chance we get. #commutation #clemency #mercy #secondchances.” The statement was part of a series of tweets which advocated for a continuous and aggressive use of leniency in the criminal justice system. 16


  1. Illinois Prison Project – About.” Illinois Prison Project, IPP,
  2.  “Illinois Prison Project Annual Report 2020-2021.” IPP, IPP,
  3. “Ltd 2022.” NAMI Chicago,
  4. “Illinois Prison Project – About.” Illinois Prison Project, IPP,
  5. Project, Illinois Prison. “Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This but There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Humane’ Prison. #Freethemall.” Twitter, Twitter, 2 Sept. 2022,
  6. Rivera, Alissa. “Updated Recommendations: Covid-19 and Prison Communities.” Restore Justice, 27 Apr. 2020,
  7.  “‘We Are More.’” SoapBox Productions and Organizing,
  8. “Illinois Prison Project – Learn.” Illinois Prison Project –,
  9. “Treatment Not Torture.” Illinois Prison Project, 28 Sept. 2021,
  10. Project, Illinois Prison. “ICYMI: We Launched Our #WeAreMore Campaign to Retake the Narrative around Crime & Incarceration from Fear-Mongering Politicians. We Asked Four System-Impacted People to Share Their Experiences with Imprisonment & Their Visions for True Justice and Are Their Stories:” Twitter, Twitter, 6 May 2022,
  11. “‘We Are More.’” SoapBox Productions and Organizing,
  12. Make a Donation – Illinois Prison Project. Give Lively,
  13. “Restore Justice 2020 Form 990.” IRS,,
  14.  “Illinois Prison Project – About.” Illinois Prison Project, IPP,
  15. Illinois Prison Project – About.” Illinois Prison Project, IPP,
  16. Soble, Jennifer. “Prosecutors Keep Arguing That Clemency Should Be Reserved for ‘Miscarriages of Justice.” That’s Bullshit. Clemency Is Mercy, and We Must Create Space for and Normalize Mercy Every Chance We Get. #Commutation #Clemency #Mercy #Secondchances.” Twitter, Twitter, 6 Oct. 2021,
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2019

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $482,996 $358,432 $296,268 $0 N $478,796 $4,200 $0 $75,629 PDF
    2019 Dec Form 990 $442,054 $350,150 $118,693 $0 N $451,008 $0 $0 $104,593 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $306,192 $337,979 $18,521 $0 N $306,192 $0 $0 $83,822 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $221,799 $218,978 $51,307 $10,000 N $221,799 $0 $0 $119,862 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990EZ $123,553 $72,867 $51,686 $10,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

    The Illinois Prison Project

    Chicago, IL