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.

Register for one of the three live webinars:

February 26th, 2021 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST
May 21st, 2021 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST
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

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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

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.

19th Annual CARRE Conference

Date:

October 28, 2020

Time:

9:30 AM to 3 PM

Location:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vQ1ZNE62QfmAOfkiHI7t0w

Description:

For 18 straight years, Safer Foundation has brought together thought leaders from the public, for-profit, and not-for-profit sectors to explore the policies and approaches that address the countless issues facing people with arrest and conviction records.

The theme of this year’s conference is Creating Connections, Breaking Barriers, and Scaling Impact. We know that in order for radical changes in the reentry field to take place, it is critical that we connect across the existing silos and break barriers that separate us by our type of work or even geography. It is only when we unite and join our approaches to this work that we can truly scale impact for the good of our community, especially those impacted by the justice system.

At this year’s conference, we will celebrate the accomplishments of champions for people with records. We will feature three-panel discussions covering topics such as a new integrative reentry service delivery model that was borne out of the COVID crisis, a new statewide Alliance for Reentry, and creative policy recommendations for justice system transformation