(WTTW News)

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 (City of Chicago)
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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.

The Cook County Jail in Chicago. (WTTW News)

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.

Stateville Correctional Center (WTTW News)

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.