571 W. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60661
About Safer Foundation
Safer's mission is to reduce recidivism by supporting, through a full spectrum of services, the efforts of people with criminal records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community.
Adding contributing family members...
and positive role models back into our communities helps strengthen neighborhoods and tackle a pillar of poverty often overlooked. With its focused approach to providing employment assistance to people with criminal records, Safer Foundation has a long history of helping reduce recidivism in Illinois. When they achieve gainful employment, our clients have a recidivism rate of just 13 percent, a considerable drop from the statewide average of 52 percent.
By keeping people from returning to prison...
Safer Foundation provides considerable relief to the stateís economy, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Illinois pays over $22,000 per year to incarcerate each inmate. When our clients find employment, they no longer become a drain on the economy and instead become valuable contributors. With over 2,700 job starts in 2009, Safer Foundation saved the state more than $59 million. For over three decades now, Safer Foundation has been at the forefront of prisoner reentry. We look forward to expanding our offerings to those who need us most.
A Consistent Advocate
Safer Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, began providing employment, educational, and supportive services for individuals with criminal records in 1972. With headquarters in Chicago, Safer Foundationís staff of nearly 350 assists clients in 20 facilities throughout Illinois and eastern Iowa.
Aside from the stigma of a criminal record, Saferís clients face additional barriers to employment, such as lack of education, substance abuse issues and little experience in the work world. At the same time, communities face sizable increases in the number of returning individuals with approximately 600,000 people being released from U.S. prisons annually.
Safer Foundationís primary focus remains on finding gainful employment for its clients. However, Safer has expanded its offerings over the past three decades to include additional programs and services, such as housing, substance abuse treatment, education and life skills.
In 1976, Safer Foundation expanded service delivery into Rock Island, Ill., in response to the need for services in that area of the state. In 1978, Governor Robert Ray of Iowa personally invited Safer to deliver services to Iowa parolees and probationers in Davenport when he realized many were seeking Saferís services across the border in Illinois.
That same year, Safer Foundation agreed to operate and administer a 60-bed residential work release facility on behalf of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Today, Safer Foundation -- the only non-profit private organization to manage adult transition centers for IDOC -- provides secure oversight and services to over 500 males in two residential facilities located on the west side of Chicago.
The purpose of these centers is to give individuals nearing release from Illinois supervision the support and services necessary to re-establish ties to family, employment, and community.
Safer Foundation also established a Public Policy and Advocacy Program to supplement direct client services. This initiative strives to identify and reduce the systematic barriers to employment through broad-based coalition building and advocacy.
For nearly 40 years, Safer Foundation has attracted a broad base of funder support from individuals, private foundations and the public sector. Safer also receives numerous requests from international, national, state and local government officials seeking Saferís expertise regarding policies and programs that promote successful reentry.
As it looks to enter its fifth decade of existence, Safer continues to strive for reduced recidivism rates, increased public safety, and an enhanced likelihood of crime-free self-sufficiency for its clients and their families.
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