The sheer number of people impacted by mass incarceration is nothing short of a crisis. If all Americans with arrest records were combined into a single nation it would be the world’s 18th largest country.
- The Safer Foundation’s Holistic Blueprint for Action aims to increase the understanding of the broader socio-economic benefits of re-entry and to inform and advocate that:
- Services need to be holistic
- Serving this group would have the greatest impact
- Serving this group is violence reduction
- Serving this group would be cost effective
- Serving this group should be an investment that a range of state and local government departments make
- This population should be prioritized by all departments
- We propose a holistic policy agenda that recognizes that the services required for successful reentry are among the most important areas of social investment as those impacted by the criminal legal system are one of the most vulnerable populations in our city, county, state and nation.
- The Holistic Blueprint for Action builds upon current research and is informed by the lived experiences of Illinoisans impacted by mass incarceration. These narratives illustrate the complexity of re-entry and were core to the Blueprint’s recommendations for dedicated and holistic reentry services.
- When multiple agencies come together to execute the right plan, we can end the cycle of re-offending and re-incarceration by providing and creating opportunities for economic mobility and opportunity.
5 guiding priorities of the Blueprint
- The demand for social justice compels the city of Chicago, Cook County, and the state of Illinois to invest in re-entry.
- The impact of incarceration in Illinois is a public emergency.
- The current state of re-entry services is dire and the cost of inaction in supporting returning residents would far exceed the cost of ensuring returning residents become healthy, productive, and law-abiding residents.
- The issues facing re-entry populations, their families, and their communities must be addressed across the state through an equity-centered lens. Having a record, regardless of having “served one’s sentence,” condemns people and families to a lifetime of hardship by systematically impeding access to healthcare, education, employment, and housing.
- Community-based providers are uniquely situated to deliver re-entry services.