Opening Friday, April 21st, from 4PM - 6PM
This symposium considers state responses to sexual abuse and violence by examining unintended consequences of public registration and notification laws, and related restrictions. Research indicates that these laws do not improve public safety, but they do lead families into homelessness, permanent housing insecurity, unemployment, poverty, mental health crises, isolation, and other collateral consequences.
These approaches represent a missed opportunity to address sexual abuse and assault, understand why it isn’t reported, and to recognize structural causes of sexual violence. They conjure the idea that people who sexually offend are not ordinary people, and that sexual harm is not preventable. In short, they give legislators a pass in doing the hard work of passing evidence-based policies that promote true public safety. We are left with sweeping policies that destabilize and stigmatize families, promote stereotypes and misinformation, and expand the carceral state.
There are now 29,000 people on the Illinois sex offender registry. Approximately 1 in 227 men in Illinois is labeled a “sex offender.” The rate is about 1 in 100 for African-American men. The Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerates 1200 people past their release dates due to the lack of approved housing.
Hear perspectives from state officials, victim advocates, justice advocates, and people directly affected by violence, incarceration, and registration laws and policies.
• Rep. LaShawn Ford, State Representative, 8th Legislative District, Illinois General Assembly
• Rep. Will Guzzardi, State Representative, 39th Legislative District, Illinois General Assembly
• Rachel Caidor, Survivor Advocate, Just Practice Collective
• Mark Heyrman, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Chicago
• John Maki, Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
• Elena Quintana, Executive Director, Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice, Adler University
• Beth Tarzia, Attorney Supervisor, Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
• DeMel Hannah
• Tammy Lewis
• Clifton McFowler
• Tom Ramon
• Angel Torres
• Laurie Jo Reynolds and Lynne Johnson, symposium organizers
University of Illinois at Chicago
What is an artistic practice of human rights?
Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry
Pozen Family Center for Human Rights Logan Center for the Arts
University of Chicago
• Cabrini Green Legal Aid
• Child and Family Justice Center, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
• Illinois Voices for Reform
• Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
• Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice, Adler University
• John Howard Association of Illinois
• Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
• Mental Health America of Illinois
• Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
• Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities