A 2018 report found 43% of those released from prison in Illinois will be convicted of another crime and return to prison. About a quarter of those re-offenses are for so-called “technical violations” like violating curfew or missing a meeting with a probation officer.
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.
Willette Benford, who has served time in prison herself, has been appointed to serve as Chicago’s director of re-entry. It’s a newly created role that was part of a $13 million initiative to support reentry services for people leaving prison.
While the number of women in prisons is relatively small compared to the number of incarcerated men, the rate of female incarceration is on the rise. Black women in particular are overrepresented in the nation’s jails and prisons.
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.