A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – June 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

REGISTER FOR OUR June 2022 WEBINARS BELOW:

Monday, June 20 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, June 21 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click HERE

Wednesday, June 22 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click HERE

Monday, June 27 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.


To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, June 28 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click HERE

Wednesday, June 29 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click HERE

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – May 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

REGISTER FOR OUR May, 2022 WEBINARS BELOW:

Monday, May 2 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, May 3 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click HERE

Wednesday, May 4 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To Register, Click HERE

Monday, May 9 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, May 10 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click HERE

Wednesday, May 11 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Child Welfare System

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To Register, Click HERE

Monday, May 16 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, May 17 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click HERE

Thursday, May 19 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Child Placement Options

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To Register, Click HERE

Monday, May 23 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, May 24 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click HERE

Wednesday, May 25 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Domestic Relations

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To Register, Click HERE

Tuesday, May 31 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM -Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click HERE

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – April 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Register for our April, 2022 Webinars Below:

Monday, April 4 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click Here

Tuesday, April 5 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click Here

Thursday, April 7 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM -Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To Register, Click Here

Monday, April 11 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click Here

Tuesday, April 12 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click Here

Thursday, April 14 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Child Welfare System

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To Register, Click Here

Monday April 18 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click Here

Tuesday, April 19 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register, Click Here

Thursday, April 21 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Child Placement Options

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To Register, Click Here

Monday, April 25 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register, Click Here

Tuesday, April 26 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register, Click Here

Thursday, April 28 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM – Family Matters: Domestic Relations

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To Register, Click Here

Case Study: The “Reformed” Social Worker

Every journey is different. Even the journey down the road to a better future. In celebration of Safer Foundation’s 50th anniversary, we’re sharing some of the incredible stories and successes our clients have achieved throughout our five decades of empowering formerly incarcerated individuals and reducing recidivism.

Meet Jeff Wallace

As the founder and CEO of Vision Leadership and Productions and the CEO of the Iowa-based non-profit, S.T.E.P. Quad Cities, Jeff Wallace intimately understands the importance of educating at-risk youth.

Through classes in behavior management training and motivational speaking, along with running an organization dedicated to opening opportunities to youth and families in the Quad Cities area, he has made a name for himself as the “reformed” social worker. Wallace dedicates his life to studying the effects of the criminal justice system on at-risk youth and is currently pursuing his PhD in Criminal Justice Administration. He even once worked as a program manager for Safer Foundation and today holds a seat on our Board.

We’re a cause close to his heart, having once been an at-risk youth helped by our organization himself.

Where His Journey Began

Back in 1998, when Wallace was just 24 years old and newly released from prison, his previous hardships presented hurdles to his transition. “I had spent so long in solitary confinement that even when I was released, my mind still lived in solitary confinement,” expressed Wallace. “Anybody could have came and had a conversation with me and it wouldn’t have mattered.”

Today, after years of working with the organization, Wallace understands that he simply wasn’t in the right headspace to accept the full scope of assistance Safer Foundation provides. “If you’re not really ready to make a change and do what you need to do, don’t think you’re going to go to Safer and all of the sudden they’re going to throw you a parachute,” explained Wallace. “What they will do is they’ll provide you some tools, and you’ve got to pick them up.”

He added, “When someone gets out of prison, I can talk to them for five minutes and tell you if he’s going back, if he’s ready, if he’s done, or if he’s on the fence. You’ve got to see a reason to stay out.”

Wallace’s reason became clear after initially working with Safer Foundation to find a job. Through our organization, Wallace grew under a rigorous curriculum that ensured he received the training and education necessary to succeed. Much of his motivation came from his assurance that Safer Foundation was truly there to serve him and others like him.

“Being a Black man, I went up to Chicago for one of their program meetings, and I was like, ‘Wow, where did all these Black people come from?’ And I mean that. I couldn’t believe we were actually represented like that,” recalled Wallace. “That was one of the biggest things I loved: The fact that there were actually people who looked like me, who had been incarcerated like me, who had in their youth been in trouble, and I never, ever felt anything but acceptance.”

From Passion to Purpose

It’s safe to say that after his time as a Safer Foundation client, Wallace’s passion for studying criminal justice policies and procedures quickly became an ambition to get involved.

“On top of [Safer Foundation] having those tools for you, if you turn your life around, if you do what you need to do, you can even turn around and help out people who are in the same predicament,” said Wallace. “To me, there’s nothing better in the world than to give. If there was one thing I needed to do it was to give back in that space.”

Wallace got that opportunity soon after his training was complete, joining the Safer Foundation team as a program manager for a truly full-circle moment in his life. Even today, he considers going from a client of Safer Foundation to a team member to be one of his most valuable accomplishments. “I’m not a person that sugarcoats anything, and that was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” expressed Wallace. “The connections I made are very, very genuine.”

After working with our team, Wallace’s goals for his future—and for how he could give back to others— only grew. “We always talked about touching the sky, but after being [at Safer Foundation], I felt like I could touch the stars. Because there are truly tangible results from watching somebody come in, go through the program, and do what they need to do,” shared Wallace. He was inspired then to continue pursuing a career in social work with his own organizations, Vision Leadership and Productions and S.T.E.P. Quad Cities, where he continues to work and make an impact for at-risk youth in Iowa and Illinois.

One Word: Visionary

Asked today the one word he would use to describe Safer Foundation, Wallace would answer “visionary.” He was not only empowered to improve his own situation but he was also given the training and tools to help others improve theirs—and no one was more surprised than Wallace with how much this journey changed his life.

“When I started working there, I honestly didn’t realize how well you can be supported [by Safer Foundation]. I didn’t realize that kind of diversity actually existed or even could exist. I also didn’t realize that I could act out that level of change myself with my own nonprofit,” said Wallace. His nonprofit certainly does affect positive change for the Quad Cities area, dedicated to creating opportunities for youth and families through teachings in the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math. He also remains actively involved with Safer Foundation as a member of our Board.

Now, with these incredible successes under his belt, Wallace is continuing to build his expertise by pursuing his PhD in Criminal Justice Administration. And, looking to the future of both Safer Foundation and S.T.E.P. Quad Cities, he sees a great need to bring more widespread awareness to the cause.

“People sometimes don’t think of themselves as stakeholders when, in fact, they are. It’s hard getting them to realize they are a stakeholder in this big old game called recidivism,” explained Wallace. “Until they actually know someone who’s been incarcerated, they look at [organizations like Safer Foundation] as a bunch of do-gooders. I think if they understood and realized that the person that’s sitting in that cell is going to get out, is going to become your neighbor, is even possibly going to date your daughter, they’d realize, ‘Maybe I do need to invest a little bit more and make people aware of these services.’”

Your Stake in the Outcome

That’s the takeaway Wallace most wants community members to understand: “You have a stake in these outcomes.” It is true for each of us, and something that our organization also recognizes as a serious hurdle for progress. Until we treat criminal and social justice as an issue that affects us all, we cannot address it at the scale it requires to create lasting change.

Fifty years into Safer Foundation’s legacy, that level of awareness is something we still continually strive for—but with the help of people like Wallace, we get closer every day to paving the road to a better future for those willing to make the trek.

If you’d like to donate to make the road to a better future a broader and smoother journey, with more service offerings and avenues of opportunity for people like Wallace, simply visit our donation page – saferfoundation.org/donate.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – March 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

REGISTER FOR OUR FEBRUARY 2022 WEBINARS BELOW:

Monday, March 14, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship

This session will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time. This session will also discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children. 

To register click Here.

Thursday, March 17, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, March 21, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This session will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Friday, March 25, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, March 28, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Domestic Relations

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To register click Here.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

The Road Thus Far: Celebrating Safer Foundation’s 50th Anniversary

The road to a better future. It’s a long journey, and one that our organization has helped countless along. Today, we annually support over 5,000 men, women, and youth in attaining gainful employment. Our efforts go beyond the individual level to create a lasting positive impact on families and communities at large. But we didn’t get here overnight.

2022 marks a historic milestone in our organization’s journey: Safer Foundation’s 50th anniversary. A cause for both celebration and reflection, this anniversary marks half a century of relentless efforts, initiatives, legislation, and more. It’s time we commemorate these achievements that, together, have brought us step by step closer to creating an unobstructed, achievable journey for our clients on the road to a better future.

Where It All Began

Before there was Safer Foundation, there was a vision. Raymond “Bernie” Curran and Gus Wilhelmy’s vision, to be exact. Two former Catholic priests, Curran and Wilhelmy worked at the Portland Cement Association in Skokie, IL in 1970. There, they helped the company train formerly incarcerated individuals to lay cement and saw that many were able to find new careers shortly after.

Curran, who oversaw the manpower development and training department, and Wilhelmy, who had his own history of counseling men in prison, were inspired by the program. They sought a way to bring its model to more individuals released from incarceration. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, they founded Operation DARE (Direct Action for Rehabilitation and Employment of Ex-Offenders) that same year.

From DARE to Safer

DARE was incredibly successful at helping ex-offenders find work in the construction industry but opened the pair’s eyes to another hurdle standing in their way. Most DARE clients had only received a few years of high school education, functioning at 4th and 5th grade reading levels. Combined with a lack of job history and marketable skills, this limited their opportunities post-incarceration—but it also sparked a new vision for Curran and Wilhelmy.

In 1972, the two left their positions at the Portland Cement Association to pursue their greatest effort yet: transforming Operation DARE into an all-encompassing reentry assistance provider, called Safer Foundation.

By 1973, their vision became reality, with a board of directors comprised of several influential business executives, more than 20 staffers, and a budget of $300,000 helping serve over 2,000 ex-offenders on the road to their better future.

Gaining Traction throughout Chicagoland

Ten short years later, Safer Foundation was already reaching its next major milestones. In 1983, our efforts had gained the attention of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), who determined Safer Foundation would be the ideal organization to run the Crossroads Adult Transition Center (ATC).

The IDOC was right: The Crossroads ATC was created to reduce recidivism by providing structure through full-spectrum services for people with criminal records, making it perfectly aligned with Safer Foundation’s mission. It was one of our first major achievements. And a few years later in 1986, we reached another significant milestone: the launch of the PACE Institute in Cook County Jail.

We once again worked successfully in partnership with a correctional facility (CCDOC), this time to help current detainees improve their education and prepare for their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) through courses in math, writing, and reading.

Progress in the New Millennium

By the age of the new millennium, Safer Foundation had garnered a reputation throughout Chicagoland—and even still, we were just getting started. The first ten years of the 21st century were some of our most historic. In 2000, the success of the Crossroads ATC led to the opening of our second ATC in North Lawndale, and in 2001, we created our Council of Advisors to Reduce Recidivism through Employment.

A couple of years later in 2003, Safer Foundation launched the Ready4Work program, which combined reentry counseling, group mentoring, and job readiness and placement for people returning from prison throughout Cook County. By 2004, we expanded our pre-and post-release services to inmates at Sheridan Correctional Centers.

Taking Our Efforts to the Top

That same year, Safer Foundation began our efforts to reduce recidivism not only through service but through legislation as well. Just four years before his presidency, we partnered with Illinois Senator Barack Obama on creating the Certificate of Good Conduct and Certificate of Relief from Disabilities.

Then, in 2008, we ventured once again into the world of legislation by partnering with Representative Danny Davis to pass the Second Chance Act. At that same time, we continued to roll out new services in support of the formerly incarcerated, including the launch of our program, Safer Return.

In 2011, Safer Foundation’s political and social impact earned former President Diane Williams the White House Champion of Change Award—an impressive accolade that helped us garner national attention. The 2010s continued to be impactful for our organization with the launch of the Safer Demand Skills Collaborative® (SDSC) in 2015. The SDSC is a collaborative of employer and training partners that offer credential training, leading to career pathways in high-growth occupations and enhancing Safer Foundation’s client services model. Initially launched in the healthcare industry, it now trains clients in the five key industries of healthcare, technology, hospitality, advanced manufacturing, and transportation logistics and distribution.

In 2016, we further opened access to previously closed pathways in a wide range of occupations with the completion of our draft of the Illinois Occupational Licensing Reform Bill, which dramatically reduces the collateral consequences of incarceration.

An Impact 50 Years in the Making

Today, in the year of our 50th anniversary, we’re still seeing the positive effects of our decades of dedication. When we began running the Crossroads ATC in 1983, it operated out of the fourth floor of the former Sears YMCA with just 60 beds available. Now, still under the care of Safer Foundation, the Crossroads ATC is the largest ATC in Illinois, run out of Chicago’s west side with over 80 staffers and a 330-bed capacity.

The PACE Institute is also a longstanding success, operating today at full capacity with a waitlist for a coveted spot in the program. The web-based Safer Return platform builds upon our 50 years of reentry work and resources to connect individuals in any location and at any stage of their journey to Safer services and supports. We continue to create new programs and draft legislation that furthers our mission for Chicagoland, Illinois, and the entire country at large.

Safer Foundation’s unparalleled commitment to improving the reentry process and guiding formerly incarcerated individuals will never waiver. But as we look down that promising road ahead, it’s paramount that we don’t lose sight of the distance we’ve traveled thus far and the efforts that brought us here.

From each of us at Safer Foundation, we thank our staff, volunteers, donors, legislators, and, above all, our clients for the part they’ve played in our success thus far—and for the incredible milestones, we have yet to achieve together. If you’d like to donate to make the road to a better future a broader and smoother journey, simply visit our donation page – saferfoundation.org/donate.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – February 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Register for our February 2022 Webinars Below:

Tuesday, February 1, 2022, from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Domestic Relations 

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To register click Here.

Friday, February 4, 2022, from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Monday, February 7, 2022, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover the local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022, from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration 

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To register click Here.

Friday, February 11, 2022, from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Monday, February 14, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship 

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To register click Here.

Thursday, February 17, 2022 from 3:30- to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, February 28, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – January 2022

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Register for our January 2022 Webinars Below:

Monday, January 3, 2022 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2002 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Domestic Relations 

To register click Here.

Friday, January 7, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult-use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Monday, January 10, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration 

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To register click Here.

Friday, January 14, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship 

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To register click Here.

Friday, January 21, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Monday, January 24, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Friday, January 28, 2022 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, January 31, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – December 2021

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Friday, December 3, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Friday, December 10, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – NOVEMBER 2021

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Friday, November 12 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration 

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To register click Here.

Friday, November 19, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Monday, November 29, 2021 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship 

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To register click Here.

2021 CARRE Conference – Dec. 7, 2021 | Save The Date

Join us at 9AM, on Tuesday, December 7th, streaming live on Facebook for Safer Foundation’s 20th annual “Council of Advisors to Reduce Recidivism through Employment” (CARRE) Conference. 

For nearly 20 years, Safer Foundation has brought thought leaders from the public, for-profit, and not-for-profit sectors together to explore policies and practices that address issues people with arrest and conviction records face.  

The theme of this year’s conference is “Make Illinois a Second Chance State.” The conference features three expert panels, awards for outstanding leaders, spoken word artistic expressions, an inspirational keynote speaker and Safer Foundation’s ‘Holistic Reentry A Blueprint for Action’ Report. 

It is critical that a cross-functional team of compassionate leaders collaborate to advance a progressive agenda that positively impacts justice involved individuals. Our goal is to ensure they have a fair shot at a second chance to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Join our speakers, awardees, and panelists to discuss ways to transform Illinois into a Second Chance State and the U.S. into a Second Chance Nation. Let us know you are coming! Register and download the report on our event page. 

Registration Link:  https://secure.givelively.org/event/safer-foundation/20th-annual-carre-conference

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – October 2021

Know Your Rights, Remedies and Resources Webinars

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Register for our Webinars Below:

Friday, October 1, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, October 4, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state, and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – Family Matters: Domestic Relations  

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To register click Here.

Friday, October 8, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration 

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To register click Here.

Friday, October 15, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Monday, October 18, 2021 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship 

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To register click Here.

Friday, October 22, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Monday, October 25, 2021 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Friday, October 29, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

Education Justice Project’s Reentry Guide Initiative Resources

Education Justice Project’s Reentry Guide Initiative introduces the first two videos of their Reentry Video Series.

Preparing Mentally for Release 

Getting Your IDs and Documents

In Addition, Reentry Guide Initiative also released two books for people returning home.

 Mapping Your Future, A Guide to Successful Reentry 

Returning Home: A Guide to the Challenges and Opportunities After Deportation 

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – September 2021

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

Safer Foundation’s Access to Justice (A2J) Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. In addition, the Family Matters series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system.

Register for our Webinars Below:

Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Friday, September 3, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Friday, September 10, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Drivers Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Monday, September 13, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Impact of Parental Incarceration 

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To register click Here.

Thursday, September 16, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Friday, September 17, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Monday, September 20, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Child Placement Options/Guardianship 

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To register click Here.

Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click Here.

Friday, September 24, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state, and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click Here.

Monday, September 27, 2021 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Family Matters: Child Welfare System 

This webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To register click Here.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:30 pm 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here.

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – August 2021

Safer Foundation’s A2J Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. 

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

Register for our Webinars Below:

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here.

Friday, August 6, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here.

Friday, August 13, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Housing and Drivers Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click here.

Friday, August 20, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here

Friday, August 27, 2021 from Noon to 1:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing and Education

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click here

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here

31st Annual Golf Outing

Safer Foundation’s 31st Annual Golf Outing

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | Ruffled Feathers Golf Club – Lemont, IL

We are pleased to announce, the Safer Foundation golf outing, our favorite annual fundraising tradition, is taking place this year – with social distancing modifications!

We are planning a fun and safe event for you! You’ll enjoy lunch, an exciting round of golf, and the company of our wonderful partners & friends – including board members, staff, employer partners, celebrities, and VIPs – while raising funds to support the programs and services that help thousands of individuals with arrest & conviction records find gainful employment.

Social distancing modifications for our foursome scramble tournament include outdoor registration, outdoor lunch, golf cart sharing restricted to persons sharing households, and an outdoor cocktail reception. We’ll still have the usual fun games, raffles, auction items, free on the course concessions, and awards for first place, last place, longest drive, and closets to the pin.

Event Details

Date/Place

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 Ruffled Feathers Golf Club | 1 Pete Dye Road Lemont, IL

Schedule

Registration – 11 AM

Barbecue Lunch – 12 PM

Tournament Starts – 1 PM

19th Hole Happy Hour: 5 PM – 7 PM [Featuring: Awards & Entertainment]

Golf Packages

FOURSOME: $1,000 – Includes green fees and cart for a foursome, lunch and (4) raffle entries

INDIVIDUAL: $250 – Includes green fees and cart, lunch and (1) raffle entry

Sponsorship Packages
Platinum Sponsor – $10,000
  • Listed as event and 19th hole sponsor
  • Two (2) foursomes teams includes: green fees, golf cart, andlunch
  • Company logo displayed on golf outing program and event signage
  • Naming rights to prestigious holes (game holes) on the golf course
  • Opportunity to display company marketing materials
Gold Sponsor – $5,000
  • One (1) foursome team includes: green fees, golf cart, and lunch
  • Company logo displayed on golf outing program and eventsignage
  • Naming rights to holes on the golf course
  • Opportunity to display company marketing materials
Silver Sponsor – $1,500
  • One (1) foursome team includes: green fees, golf cart, and lunch
  • Company logo displayed on golf outing program and event signage
  • Opportunity to display company marketing materials

DONATE OR REGISTER TODAY

RSVP

For more information or to register via phone contact: Landon Williams(312)913-6373 or [email protected]

A2J Know Your Rights Webinars – April 2021

April ACCESS TO JUSTICE CALENDAR

Safer Foundation’s A2J Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. 

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

Introducing the Family Matters Webinar Series

We believe it is important for people engaged with and impacted by the justice system to know their rights. That is why Safer Foundation, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institute (WJI), is conducting a series of webinars to help people who are incarcerated and people with arrest and conviction records know their rights, know their remedies and also help connect them to legal and reentry resources.

This series of webinars covers some of the basics of family law, particularly focusing on how family law intersects with the criminal legal system. The first webinar examines the importance of family connections when a parent is incarcerated. The second webinar will examine child placement options when someone is incarcerated. The third webinar will examine domestic relations, including divorce, custody, and visitation. The fourth webinar will examine the child welfare system and parental rights.

Wednesday, April 14th from 9:30 am to 11:00 am April Workforce 360

The recent passing of the Illinois Black Caucus’ Criminal Justice Bill, the SAFE-T Act, ended license suspensions for unpaid traffic, automated speed, and red light camera tickets. The bill also reinstates licenses suspended or held for these unpaid tickets as well as unpaid abandoned vehicle fines or fees. These changes mean Illinois no longer suspends driver’s licenses for any unpaid ticket fines or fees!

With the removal of this common barriers to employment, hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans could have increased access to transportation and better jobs. But when and how can job seekers begin to take advantage of the new legislation?

Join the Jobs Council and Safer Foundation as we discuss how to guide your job seekers through the process of getting their licenses back. We’ll also engage attendees in a dialogue about the next reforms most needed to support jobs seekers.

To Register Click Here

Friday, April 16th, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing, and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register Click Here

Monday, April 19th 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Family Matters Series: The Impact of Parental Incarceration

This webinar will cover statistics surrounding mass incarceration, the importance of parent-child connections, and options for child visitation when a parent is incarcerated. In addition, it will review the process for requesting permission to visit a loved one in prison when you have a past felony conviction or pending criminal case.

To Register Click Here

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To Register Click Here

Monday, April 26, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Family Matters Series: Child Placement Options

This webinar will cover the different types of guardianship in Illinois, including short-term, court-ordered, and stand-by guardianship. We will discuss how to establish and discharge guardianships. We will review the paperwork necessary to bring a child to visit a parent in prison. We will learn about the rights of homeless children, including children whose parents are incarcerated. Finally, we will discuss how guardianship can be useful when a parent faces immigration or warrant issues.

To Register Click Here

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses. 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To Register Click Here

Thursday, April 29, 2021 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am – Employment, Occupational Licensing, and Education

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To Register Click Here

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Family Matters Series: Domestic Relations

This webinar will cover topics like divorce, child custody, and visitation. For example, did you know that child custody is now called allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois? We will examine how people who are incarcerated can file petitions and what options are available. We will also review how a criminal record can be used in cases for visitation or parenting time.

To Register Click Here

Monday, May 10th, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Family Matters Series: The Child Welfare System

This final webinar will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services and the child welfare system. Participants will learn the timeline of child welfare cases and what various terms mean. We will also discuss how parents can appeal indicated reports. We will spend time discussing how parental rights can be terminated, particularly how criminal records can be used against parents in these cases. Finally, we will examine how criminal records impact the ability to foster children.

To Register Click Here

Roundtable for Justice-Involved Veterans

Most veterans dream of the day they will come home. So much can change in 6 -18 months. Yet somethings, like grandma’s homemade fudge, the taste of a cold Spotted Cow beer on a hot day, or how a baby smells never changes. How does one go from being a highly trained and motivated soldier to standing in front of a judge?  

Part of the answer is what the sentencing judge said to Sarge, “your service is a double-edged sword. Your time in Iraq makes you a threat to society.” Of course, it is not the whole truth or there would be millions of veterans at various points in the justice system.   

Sarge had become one of those hard to digest veteran statistics. He was one of many veterans who would commit a violent crime.  

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (2015) states there is a greater percentage of veterans (64%) than non-veterans (48%) sentenced to prison for violent offenses. 

Like many of his other brothers and sisters in arms he suffered from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is a growing body of research that indicates justice-involved veterans are more likely to be addicted to opioids and/or alcohol, have mental health issues and have been homeless at one point in time.  

This roundtable discussion will allow leaders to identify overarching problems that are effecting the justice-involved veterans community as a whole and work on developing a group action plan.      

Who? 

These meetings are targeted at community leaders who have extensive knowledge in the justice system, serving veterans or both.   

What?  

Safer Foundation will be hosting a roundtable discussion about justice-involved veterans. These meetings will work with leaders to develop an action plan that the community can adopt to reduce identified challenges facing justice-involved veterans.   

When?   

Wednesday, March 10th 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. 

Thank You   

This roundtable was made possible by generous funding from the McCormick Foundation. 

Welcoming Home & Assisting Incarcerated Veterans

Register for the webinar series via Eventbrite.

Sam is an Iraq War veteran who recently came home. He achieved many titles and awards during his time in service but returning back to civilian life was more difficult. Friends and family wondered if something was different. He seemed to experience back pain and spasms nearly every day. During those bouts of pain, he’d consume all the pain killers he could find. When he wasn’t in pain, he would seem to go a thousand miles an hour; seemingly making up for “lost” time. His family becomes concerned, about how could he be incapacitated by pain one moment and an Olympic athlete the next. But Sam didn’t want help. He didn’t think anyone would understand.

This webinar series is for community providers who, whether they know it or not, encounter veterans at-risk for becoming involved in the justice system, in prison or jail, transitioning out of serving a sentence, or adjusting back to a stable routine.


Attendees will learn evidence-based practices that support justice-involved veterans when returning from incarceration. For example, the material discusses how to screen for suicidality, how to recognize the signs of MST, and how to change your practice to address common injuries from service. Attendees will leave with an understanding of veterans’ unique risk factors, which will ultimately empower veterans.

Delays in identification cause increased loneliness, suicide ideation, homelessness, and criminal behavior. The curated topics give you the skills you need to prevent veterans from falling through the cracks.

Subject matter experts will discuss behavioral and physical health outcomes of military service, suicide prevention, and the impacts of military sexual trauma (MST). This series will connect you to community resources and introduce techniques that commonly support veterans effectively, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Discussion will follow each of the keynote speakers to engage you and your team in the topics.

The free webinar series includes trainings on the following:

Suicide Prevention

Veterans accounted for 13.8% of all deaths by suicide in 2018. 1, but only make up 7 percent of the American population. This means a man or woman who served their country is twice as likely than their civilian counterparts to commit suicide. What’s even scarier, is that these reports and statics run 2 years behind and do not take into account the current pandemic. Some VA providers believe that number will drastically increase in future reports.

Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Believe it or not: more men are assaulted in the military than women: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men respond “yes” that they experience MST when screened by their VA provider. Because more men serve than women, 1 in 50 is a larger number than 1 in 3 women. 2 “Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with MST, it is not the only diagnosis that can result from MST. For example, VA medical record data indicate that in addition to PTSD, the diagnoses most frequently associated with MST among users of VA health care are depression and other mood disorders, and substance use disorders.”- VA

Behavioral and Physical Health Impacts of Service

The relatively high rates of co-occurring disorders among veterans may result from prolonged exposure to trauma. Traumatic experiences may have occurred while serving in the military but may also include victimization prior to military service. Incarceration exacerbates experiences of trauma–or sometimes even causes trauma. Yet, many incarcerated veterans may not receive adequate support to recognize signs and seek treatment.


Breakout interviews

VA Justice-Involved Expert

Bad Discharge Papers Lawyer 

VA Suicide Prevention SME

If you want to stay up-to-date on justice-involved veterans (JIV) issues, follow us on Facebook. Ask The Expert Live Events will be going on throughout the year. If you have issues, you would like us to cover, please let us know.

Here are some resources and information that you may find helpful

  • Veterans Affairs information for Justice-Involved Veterans

Register our next live webinar:

August 20th, 2021 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST

Cost: Free

CEUS: Pending

Register for the webinar series via Eventbrite.
Who should watch?
  • Many people have the opportunity to improve a returning veteran’s chances of success. Are you one of them?
  • Case managers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Parole and probation
  • Criminal justice practitioners
  • Community leaders and organizations
  • You – if you work directly or indirectly with incarcerated veterans
What you will gain?
  • Veteran-focused signs and flags of suicide ideation, military sexual trauma, and behavioral and physical health symptoms
  • Knowledge of community resources and supports for referrals and further support
  • Introduction to techniques that commonly support veterans effectively, such as CBT
  • Veteran justice outreach experts to answer your questions

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is RRMF_Logo_LongTag-1024x192.jpg

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

A2J KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WEBINARS – February

February ACCESS TO JUSTICE CALENDAR

Access to Justice Program (A2J) Description: Safer Foundation’s A2J Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. 

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

Monday, February 8 , 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses. 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here

Friday, February 12th, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing, and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click here

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here

Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

 This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here

Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing, and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click here

A2J Know Your Rights Webinars – January

January Access to Justice Calendar

Access to Justice Program (A2J) Description: Safer Foundation’s A2J Community Navigators conduct Know Your Rights Education sessions for people who are incarcerated and those with arrest and conviction records. They also connect people to legal services and reentry services. 

Access to Justice (A2J) is an Illinois statewide program that seeks to mitigate the devastating consequences of incarceration and family separation on vulnerable communities by: expanding effective and holistic community-based legal services, providing opportunities for authentic local leadership of affected individuals, sharing experience and best practices between partner organizations to increase capacity, and engaging in public discourse about the consequences of incarceration and deportation. This will be achieved through mass education provided through Community Navigators and the provision of legal services.

Monday, January  18, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses. 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click on this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3DNnOABPRT6SxXrlDJPeRQ

Friday, January 22, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Employment, Occupational Licensing, and Education 

This webinar will cover local, state and federal legal protections that exist for people with arrest and conviction records in their search for employment. It will also provide useful information that will help guide you through the occupational licensing application process in Illinois (more than 25% of all occupations now require an occupational license). And finally, this session will provide clarity about a person’s ability to access federal financial aid and higher education.

To register click on this link:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kBH8ZDtNTYuqYExv_8Hgeg

Monday, January 25, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief 

This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click here

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Housing and Driver’s Licenses 

This session will cover the numerous housing protections that people with arrest and conviction records have at every level of government – federal, state and local. You will also learn about the protections that exist for people seeking housing in the federally subsidized [public] housing market and in the private housing market. This session will also talk about new laws designed to help people retain their driver’s licenses even if they acquire fines and fees.

To register click here

Friday, January 29, 2021 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Civic Engagement and Criminal Records Relief

 This session will teach you about a broad range of forms of criminal records relief such as sealing and expungement (including automatic expungement thanks to the state’s new adult use cannabis law), certificates of good conduct, healthcare worker waivers, and clemency. Voting protections and the US Census will also be covered.

To register click Here

Education Justice Project 2020 Reentry Guides

The EJP Reentry Guide Initiative produces three guides for people leaving prison and for family members, friends and service providers who support them.

To download reentry guides for free: Educationjustice.net/home/reentry-guides

To request reentry guides: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/1631272

Food Pantries

If you or someone you know is in need of a list of available food pantries you can view them here. You can also do a search for a location in your area by going to: Greater Chicago Food Dipository – Find Food

Roaring 20’s Gala

View Our Roaring 20’s Gala Here

Our theme this year is “Empowerment Through Connection.” The event will highlight the importance of reconnecting people with records to systems of upward mobility.

The event features the following: a Roaring 20’s theme (we encourage participants to get dressed up and post pictures of their outfits to our Facebook page) live entertainment, virtual silent auctions, 50/50 raffle, a few short presentations, and culminate with a virtual champagne toast and an after party with live music by DJ Vince Adams.

Join us as we celebrate our impact, honor leaders who champion our cause, and raise the funds needed to help connect our clients to the support, education, licenses and credentials needed to get jobs that turn their lives around.