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Reverend Dr. Harold E. Bailey

Maker interview details

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Harold E. Bailey
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  • November 10, 2004


  • Category: CivicMakers
  • Occupation(s): Gospel Singer
    Criminal Justice Activist
    Community Activist
    Nonprofit Chief Executive


  • Born: February 12, 1938
  • Birth Location: Chicago, Illinois


  • Favorite Color: Black, Blue, Brown
  • Favorite Food: Greens, Bread, Turkey (Smoked)
  • Favorite Time of Year: Summer
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

"All Things Work Together for the Good of Those That Love the Lord and Are Called According to His Purpose."
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Founder and president of Probation Challenge/PCC Internet Broadcast Network, Reverend Dr. Harold E. Bailey was born February 12, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois to Adolphus and Lillian Bailey. He attended Forrestville Elementary School and graduated from Englewood High School in 1957. Bailey continued his education at Wilson Junior College, Central State University, Chicago State University and Governors State University.

Bailey was known from the 1950’s through the 1970’s as the lead singer of the Harold Bailey Singers. The Bailey Singers recorded gospel music with the Rush, HOB and Savoy record labels and appeared on Chicago television’s Jubilee Showcase.

As a Cook County probation officer, Bailey noted that Bailey was concerned about the merry go round of recidivism and the spiraling wave of crime in the African American community. In 1979, he proposed a rehabilitation program for offenders, which was supported by Judge R. Eugene Pincham. The program was implemented as a serious attempt at rehabilitation. Pincham’s courtroom, jury room and office were converted to part time classroom space. Judge William Cousins and Judge Earl Strayhorn also supported Bailey’s efforts. In 1984, then state representative, Carol Mosely Braun and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus sponsored the Probation Challenge Act. The late Mayor Harold Washington helped Bailey move the program out of the criminal courts building and into Olive Harvey Community College. Unlearned, unskilled, socially deprived, adult and juvenile and electronically monitored clients are mandated to into the program. Probation Challenge is a radio and television broadcast that educates people as they return to society from within the judicial system. The organization was priased by late, federal Judge Prentice Marshall.

Bailey has appeared on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America and CBS - TV’s 60 Minutes. Bailey, the recipient of numerous awards nationally and internationally, continues this valuable work, the only court-mandated program of its kind in the United States continues to work and live in Chicago.

Previews from the Digital Archive


Watch the full interview in the Digital Archive