* Look, there are no magic solutions for all of Chicago’s violence problems. If there were, then the violence would’ve already stopped. So pointing out one failure may be politically fun, but what we really need to find out is if Gov. Quinn’s 2010 program made any inroads at all…
When Gov. Pat Quinn invested millions of state dollars into his now-tainted Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, one aim was to steer kids away from crime while putting a little spending money in their pockets.
Shaquille Wilson allegedly didn’t get that money the way Quinn’s administration envisioned when rolling out the 2010 anti-violence program with a promise of “economic opportunity” for young people in the city’s most violent neighborhoods.
During the program’s first full year in 2011, Wilson underwent NRI-funded mentoring through a West Side legal advocacy organization, the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, and was given a state-funded, part-time job to tout a message of anti-violence in North Lawndale, state records show.
But in December of that year, Wilson, then 17 and a student at Westside Holistic Leadership Academy, was arrested and accused of being part of a burglary ring that hit six homes in Riverside and North Riverside, state and court records show.
His lawyer says he’s innocent and has completed high school and managed to find work.
* This could be problematic if the lawyer isn’t telling the truth, however…
After being charged with four burglaries, Wilson was shifted into Lawndale Christian Legal Center’s NRI-funded re-entry program and has been represented in Cook County Circuit Court by the organization, records show.
The group received nearly $86,000 in NRI funding from Quinn’s administration, though Wilson’s lawyer said that none of that money has been used in his defense.
* Rauner’s response…
“Quinn said it was all about fighting violence and fighting criminal behavior,” Rauner said. “But it looks like some of his NRI program money was given to a criminal and some of that money was used to defend that criminal — it looks like.”
Not to get too into the semantics weeds here, but burglary isn’t necessarily a violent crime.