When people are incarcerated in Illinois prisons, they cannot vote until they are released and re-registered to vote.
Reuben Jonathan Miller, a sociologist, criminologist and social worker, whose work studies the long-term impacts of incarceration on individuals and their families, was awarded a MacArthur fellowship.
Since she returned home after incarceration 22 years ago, Celia Colon has turned much of her energy to helping other women rebuild their post-prison lives through her nonprofit Giving Others Dreams. But she says having a record has hindered her forward progress.
One of the legal system’s goals should be finding ways to reintegrate people back into society after they have completed their sentences, says Patrick O’Brien.
The Paper Prisons Initiative estimates more than 500,000 people are eligible to have their records cleared. But advocates say that’s not happening for many of them. It’s an issue that disproportionately affects Black people, particularly in the Chicago area, says Aisha Edwards, executive director of Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
There are more than 500 employment laws, policies and sanctions that prevent people with criminal records from accessing employment in Illinois. While those barriers exist in many industries, some employers focus specifically on hiring people who are re-entering society after prison.
A record can include everything from an arrest— not necessarily even a conviction — to years spent in prison. But even once that criminal case has run its course in the legal system, oftentimes the punishment continues.
A list of resources for formally incarcarated people and the organizations working to support them.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, activists, scholars, artists and journalists are convening at the Logan Center for the Arts in moderated discussions centered on the themes of injustice explored in Richard Wright’s 1940 novel “Native Son.”
While many schools will offer classes for credit to prison inmates, Northwestern University says its the only top 10 school that grants degrees to prisoners. And next spring, students at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in Will County, will be the first to receive their bachelor's degrees from Northwestern while in prison.
A total of 29 people graduated from Cook County’s Restorative Justice Program in Englewood. County leaders say the program lasts an average of six to nine months and focuses on education, accountability and job training designed to address non-violent crime and prevent recidivism.
In the U.S., many people view incarceration as the punishment one receives for breaking the law. But a recently released study indicates that for the more than 3.3 million people with criminal records in Illinois, punishment continues well beyond time served.