Interaction with the criminal legal system limits people's ability to access housing, employment, education, and other basic needs and opportunities critical to their success. A criminal record reduces earning power and acts as a permanent punishment.

We advocate for policies that help justice-involved people secure stable jobs, safe and affordable housing, access higher education, and thrive in their communities.

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Our Insights

Background screening practices block many tenants from safe and affordable housing.

Electronic monitoring should be eliminated as a policy tool in pretrial settings.

Now more than ever, we must remember our shared humanity and protect all people, including the incarcerated.

Electronic monitoring is incarceration by another name.

Access to safe, fair, affordable housing is key to reentry.

Our Impact

Abolishing money bond will allow thousands of people to stay in their communities while awaiting trial.

Investing in people – not punishment – will make everyone safer.

Legislators unanimously pass law after hearing from justice-involved individuals, community members, and advocates from the Shriver Center.

Measure will protect over 1 million people in Cook County from housing discrimination.


Sep 2022

Pretrial electronic monitoring programs represent a fast-growing type of incarceration that imposes significant harm and burdens on people who are subject to it.

Sep 2020

We must end systemic inequities and prioritize policies that keep families together.

Mar 2017

Crime free rental housing and nuisance property ordinances often have very costly consequences for tenant families, landlords, and the whole community

Feb 2015

Overly restrictive housing admissions policies create barriers to housing for individuals with criminal records.

Attorneys and Specialists

Vanessa White
Vanessa White
Vanessa White
Director of Community and Family Justice


Bernadette Brown
Bernadette Brown
Bernadette Brown
Policy and Advocacy Lead, Community and Family Justice

(217) 373-1120

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