22nd Annual CARRE Policy Conference
Welcome to our 22nd Annual CARRE Policy Conference on “Building Bridges to Success: Redefining Reentry through Collaboration and Innovation.” In a world where reentry into society post-incarceration poses multifaceted challenges, our conference stands as a beacon of hope and transformative ideas. By fostering collaboration among policymakers, innovators, and community leaders, we aim to reshape the narrative around reentry. Together, we’ll explore innovative strategies, share success stories, and pave the way for a more inclusive and supportive environment for all individuals seeking to rebuild their lives. Join us in this pivotal conversation as we unite to build bridges that lead to a brighter, more equitable future for everyone.
9AM | February 8, 2024 | Malcolm X College
Each session is designed to provide invaluable insights, foster meaningful discussions, and inspire actionable change. From policymakers to grassroots activists, our lineup represents a diverse array of perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of the complexities and opportunities within the realm of reentry. Join us as we engage with these trailblazers and collectively chart a path towards a more inclusive and supportive future.
9 AM – Registration/Check-in
9:30 AM – Welcome and Introduction of Keynote Speaker/CEO Victor Dickson
9:40 AM – Keynote Speaker- Mario Treto Jr., Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
10:20 AM – Sodiqa Williams, Sr. VP Reentry Services Division, Safer Foundation – Keynote Speaker Award Presentation- Danny K. Davis Drum Major for Justice Awardee
10:30 AM – Break
10:40 AM – Session #1 – Building Bridges – Redefining Reentry and Justice – Marlon Chamberlain – Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition to End Permanent Punishment, Richard Wallace – Founder and Director of Equity and Transformation (EAT), Avalon Betts-Gaston – Director, Illinois Alliance for Reentry and Justice)
11:40 AM – Break
11:50 AM – Lunch/Spirit Award Presentations
Sodiqa Williams, Jamelia Hand – Presenters – Sen. Christopher Belt, Reps. Jehan Gordon-Booth, Camille Lilly, Rita Mayfield, Natalie A. Manley, Richard Wallace, Founder and Director, Equity and Transformation (EAT), Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, Mark Mitchell, Associate Director, Reentry, Teamwork Englewood
1 PM – Break
1:10 PM – Session #2 – Honoring Service, Restoring Lives: Innovation and Collaboration in Reentry for Justice -Involved Veterans – Abbie Holland Schmit, Director of the Justice-Involved (JIV) Program – Safer Foundation – Dr. Walidah G. Bennett is the Founder and Director of the Multi-faith Veterans Initiative, DePaul University Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships – Greg Sanchez, U.S. Navy Veteran, Veterans Restorative Justice Project at the University of Chicago
2:10 PM – Break
2:20 PM – Unveiling the Secret Sauce – Redefining Process and Cultivating Collaborative Partnerships to Create Innovative Policies – Benjamin Ruddell, Director of Criminal Justice Policy at ACLU – Illinois
3:20 PM – Kevin Brown – Closing Safer Policy Update
3:30 PM – ADJOURN
Keynote Speaker & Hon. Danny K. Davis Drum Major for Justice Awardee
Hon. Mario Treto, Jr., Secretary, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in 2021 as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Secretary Treto spearheads Illinois' premier regulatory agency with a robust budget of $135 million. His visionary leadership has streamlined licensing processes, enhanced license portability for veterans, and championed diversity, equity, and inclusion across Illinois. A prominent legal figure, Treto's accolades span from his tenure at the University of Chicago to his board leadership roles at Howard Brown Health. Recognized nationally by esteemed organizations such as the International Municipal Lawyers Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association, he continues to make transformative strides in public service and legal realms. Discover more about Secretary Treto's impactful journeyLearn More
Practitioner Symposium – Session #1 – 10:40 am to 11:40 am – Building Bridges – Redefining Reentry and Justice
Join us for the opening session of the Reentry Practitioner Symposium, where we will delve into critical issues surrounding reentry, social justice, and economic equity.
The session will explore the concept of ending permanent punishments for formerly incarcerated individuals and suggested pathways toward criminal records amnesty. Securing justice and equity for Black workers in informal work by examining the intersection of pre-entry, reentry, social justice and economic equity. And, redefining our work in pre-incarceration, incarceration, and post-incarceration spaces through the implementation of a statewide system of reentry guidelines designed to provide the necessary supports to create healthy people to build healthy communities. Don’t miss this thought-provoking segment as Marlon Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition to End Permanent Punishments, Richard Wallace, Founder and Director of Equity and Transformation (EAT), and Avalon Betts-Gaston, Director of the Illinois Alliance for Reentry & Justice, will deliver powerful presentations addressing key aspects of redefined reentry advocacy and innovative policy implementation.
Avalon Betts-Gaston, Director of the Illinois Alliance for Reentry & Justice – Read Avalon’s Bio
Marlon Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition to End Permanent Punishments – Read Marlon’s Bio
Richard Wallace, Founder and Director of Equity and Transformation (EAT) – Read Richard’s Bio
Practitioner Symposium – Session #2 – 1:10 pm to 2:10 pm - Honoring Service, Restoring Lives: Innovation and Collaboration in Reentry for Justice-Involved Veterans
Join us for a stimulating presentation examining the unique set of challenges and barriers faced by justice-involved veterans as they navigate pre and post incarceration. The session will take a deep dive into the complex issues and systemic challenges affecting this population and explore innovative policy solutions that redefine the approach used by advocacy and community-based organizations.
Our Speakers will discuss military service, trauma, and the criminal legal system, and how these factors impact the reintegration of veterans into society. Additionally, they will discuss successful programs and the importance of tailored support systems to address specific needs of justice involved veterans. By the end of this session, participants will gain actionable insights and practical recommendations for developing and implementing innovative reentry programs and policies that honor the service of justice-involved veterans and facilitate their successful reintegration into society.
Abbie Holland-Schmit, Director of the Justice-Involved Veterans (JIV) Program at Safer Foundation – Read Abbie’s Bio
Dr. Walidah G. Bennett, Founder and Director of the Multi-faith Veterans Initiative, DePaul University Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships – Read Walidah’s Bio
Greg Sanchez, U.S. Navy Veteran, Veterans Restorative Justice Project at the University of Chicago – Read Greg’s Bio
Practitioner Symposium – Session #3 – 2:20 pm to 3:20 pm – Unveiling the Secret Sauce – Redefining Process and Cultivating Collaborative Partnerships to Create Innovative Policies
In the final session of the 22nd Annual CARRE Conference Practitioner Symposium, we invite you to join us for an engaging exploration into the “secret sauce” behind successful policy innovation and the cultivation of collaborative partnerships.
What are the essential elements that drive effective policy development and implementation? Are there effective strategies for building and sustaining relationships across sectors, including government, non-profit organizations, academia, and impacted communities? How does one leverage diverse perspectives to harness the power of inclusion and participatory decision-making to co-create policies that reflect the need and aspiration of those directly impacted by the criminal legal system. Benjamin Ruddell, Director of Criminal Justice Policy at ACLU – Illinois, will address the obstacles and resistance that often accompany efforts to redefine and reimagine processes and policies within entrenched systems. He will showcase examples of innovative policies that have resulted from collaborative partnerships, and the impact they have had upon reentry and community well-being. By the end of this session, participants will gain practical insights, tools, and strategies for fostering collaborative partnerships and driving innovative policy development within their own spheres of influence.
Benjamin Ruddell, Director of Criminal Justice Policy at ACLU – Illinois
Ben Ruddell is the Director of Criminal Justice Policy with the ACLU of Illinois. He is responsible for drafting and analyzing criminal justice legislation and lobbying in the Illinois General Assembly. Ben joined the ACLU of Illinois in April 2015 after more than seven years in the office of the Illinois House Minority Leader, during which time he held the position of Deputy Legal Counsel and staffed the Judiciary and Criminal Law Committees. Prior to his work in the legislature, Ben practiced law in Chicago.
Ben is originally from Peoria, Illinois. He graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in political science and received his JD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lives in Chicago and is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Continuing Education Units
Interested in Obtaining CEUs?
Safer Foundation will be sponsoring Continuing Education Units (4 CEUs) for the following licensed fields:
llinois Registered Social Worker CE Sponsor License No. 159.001553
Illinois Psychologist CE Sponsor License No. 268.000130
Illinois Marriage and Family Therapy CE Sponsor License No. 168.000257
Please make sure to provide your name, email, address, phone number and license No. when registering for the conference. For more information regarding receiving CEUs pleas contact Zach Hunsinger at [email protected].
Thank you to our Sponsors
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed sponsors whose generous support has made the 22nd Annual CARRE Conference a resounding success. Their unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in the field has played a pivotal role in advancing our shared mission. As pillars of our community, their contributions have not only elevated the quality of this event but have also strengthened the collaborative spirit that defines the CARRE Conference. Thank you for your dedication to driving positive change, and for being integral partners in shaping the future of our industry.