TRAP HOUSE CHICAGO decorated 9 OZ. CHAMPION SPORTSWEAR HOODIE
Screen Printed “CRIME PAYS” on the front, paired on the back with a list of those whose livelihoods depend on the criminal justice system.
"Putting this tee in the hands of community members living in under-resourced, crime-ridden, and heavily-policed neighborhoods, and who are often victims of the criminal justice system, is a form of awareness-building for some, and validation for others about an economic system that depends on and benefits from failure and death.
This hoodie often leads to conversations about the deep-rooted harm and issues that lead to modern crime and gun violence as well as actions to heal and combat the cycle.
Currently, acts of crime and gun violence in Chicago are met with harsh approaches that primarily seek only to punish. This often contributes to more harm than good for people in our communities. It leaves communities broken and root causes unaddressed, not making space for healing and reconciliation, which often leads to retaliation or other actions that keep the cycle of crime and violence going.
Like many in Chicago, I believe in the transformation of my city and the possibility of our communities being free of rampant crime and gun violence. As a restorative justice educator, I have learned that the most effective way—arguably the only way—to address and eliminate problems is to focus on their root causes. In addressing issues at their root, there are unforeseen lessons learned, opportunities for understanding and accountability that lead to unimagined healing, reconciliation, safety, strengthened relationships, and a deeper sense of community. When addressing issues at the root, “conflicts” transform into equal opportunities to build and strengthen community.
Addressing issues at the root shows a belief that the "offender" is OK, sane, right minded, and capable of growth, while creating space for the “victim’s” healing, validation, and closure. Addressing issues at the root acknowledges that there are/may be circumstances, factors, and/or lack of understandings that lead to the "wrong-doing," all of which can be addressed through a restorative lens. Addressing issues at their roots shows a true desire to understand and eliminate it.
This ain’t nothing new. People have been saying this for YEARS. I am sharing this message now through streetwear."
- Mashaun Ali
(text from CRIMEDROUGHT 3Arts campaign)