Public Policy

After 30 years of providing direct services to people with criminal records, Safer Foundation began to formally advocate on behalf of its clients with an emphasis on removing policy and legislative barriers to employment.

U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis has been a champion of the cause of reentry services.

Reducing Legislative Barriers

Safer bases its interest in and commitment to this area of work on the recognition that a variety of policy and legislative obstacles exist that obstruct the successful return of people with criminal records to their communities. Safer has come to understand that policies such as these may unwittingly encourage recidivism and reduce opportunities for self-sufficiency.

Safer’s overarching advocacy goals are: 1) to increase community awareness of the barriers faced by people with criminal records, 2) to build a broad based coalition to work towards eliminating or reducing these barriers, and 3) to provide a voice and a vehicle for participation by the people most impacted by these policies.

Illinois State Representative Dennis Reboletti has worked with Safer Foundation on Certificates legislation.

Success with SB 1050

In 2009, Safer Foundation supported General Assembly Senate Bill 1050. Spearheaded by primary sponsors Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, SB 1050 contains amendments and expansion of legislation concerning Certificates of Relief from Disability (for occupational licensing) and Certificates of Good Conduct (for general employment and reputation).

Under SB 1050, which became law January 1, 2010, the pool of eligible offenses for Certificates has been vastly increased to include any offense less than a Class X felony that did not result in "great bodily harm or permanent disability," which is not a post-sentence registration offense (sex, arson, etc), aggravated DUI or aggravated domestic battery. Everything else is eligible with not more than two felonies.

Protestants for the Common Good also worked for a provision in SB 1050 that requires the Department of Professional Regulation to provide free-of-charge, non-binding advisory opinion for people with criminal records who wish - before embarking upon the substantial investment of obtaining a license - first to obtain the Department's guidance regarding whether their criminal record is a dispositive bar to obtaining a license.


In order to make headway in reducing recidivism in Illinois, Safer Foundation formed the Council of Advisors to Reduce Recidivism through Employment (CARRE) in 2001. MORE >

  • Watch and Listen
    • Juvenile offenders succeed through Safer Foundation: DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Teenagers… MORE >

    • PBS NewsHour 12/25/2014 - Ban the Box : Many employers require job applicants to disclose… MORE >

    • Bernie and Gus: Their Vision: From a 2014 interview with Safer co-founders Raymond “Bernie”Curran and Gus Wilhelmy.… MORE >

  • Headlines
    • Adult & Juvenile Expungement Summit: June 10, 2017… MORE >

    • Cook County Juvenile Justice System Leaders Pledge Support for Rehabilitation Over Incarceration: Safer Foundation CEO… MORE >

    • MORE >

  • Reentry Resources
    • Reentry and Criminal Justice ResourcesMORE >

    • Safer Foundation DocumentsMORE >

    • Safer Foundation Fact SheetsMORE >

  • Public Policy
    • The Statistics: Below are data, gathered from independent sources, showing a breakdown of individuals affected by… MORE >

    • Council of Advisors to Reduce Recidivism through Employment (CARRE): In order to make… MORE >

  • Success Stories
    • Nadeja Beasley: Nadeja Beasley had 10 long years to think about some costly choices she… MORE >

    • Jay Borchert: Jay Borchert can proudly say he’s been clean for ten years. Earlier in… MORE >

    • Juan Cruz: Juan Cruz once lived the life of a gangbanger on the streets of Chicago. The… MORE >

  • Follow Us
    • Twitter Twitter Twitter