Please join us on Friday, January 24 for an interactive drawing workshop inspired by the visual materials on view in the exhibition
4pm - 7pm FREE RSVP →
The Chicago 400 are Chicagoans with past convictions who are listed on a public conviction registry—most of whom are also subject to lifelong housing and public space banishment. Because they are also experiencing homelessness, they must report and re-register weekly at Chicago Police Headquarters. The penalties for missing even one day of registration are extreme—often resulting in a prison sentence or a decade of additional registration time. This complex maze of laws often forces people and their families into dire situations, such as sleeping in their cars, camping overnight outside the police station, living in trains and buses, losing employment, and becoming homeless with their families.
In weekly meetings, the Chicago 400 produce visual materials including hand-drawn diagrams and maps that depict the logistics of carrying out registration laws, including their weekly journeys to the police station. These drawings have allowed the group to communicate their experiences to legislators and other system stakeholders, for whom these laws and their impact are largely invisible.
Image: Map depicting the enforcement of registration laws. Courtesy of the Chicago 400.