Champions of Change
Gail T. Smith founded CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) in 1985. She convened the Illinois Task Force for Children of Prisoners, Children of Promise, which won improvements including a children’s visiting center at Cook County Jail. Among other initiatives, Gail has written and championed legislation to ban use of shackles on pregnant women; promoted community alternatives to prison for parents charged with nonviolent offenses to keep parents and children together; and worked to reduce termination of parental rights and to promote restorative justice practices.