Sheriff's Women's Justice Program

Project: Research project

Project Details


Over the past several years, federal and local jurisdictions have recognized the importance of community re-entry planning for individuals exiting the criminal justice system. The high rates of recidivism experienced across the nation are well documented and researched. As stated in the Federal Interagency Reentry Brief (May 2011) high rates of recidivism mean more crime, more victims and more pressure on an already burdened criminal justice system. In Illinois, the number of incarcerated women disproportionately increased when compared to male incarceration during the last decade (170% vs. 69%; Illinois Department of Corrections, 2000). While it is understood that justice involved women require additional treatment and services when exiting a criminal justice system, little is known about the active ingredients of a successful community re-entry program. There are few community re-entry resources available in most urban communities for formerly incarcerated individuals without financial resources; Those that exist generally provide only one or two specific services which are often not sufficient to address women’s multiple needs. Often these agencies require some financial payment from the individuals, resources that many are unable to provide. This is especially true for women, who often have less tangible resources and as well as having minor children under their care. In addition community agency staff is often under trained in the types of treatment services are available and very few utilize evidenced based programming with fidelity. A review of the scientific literature identifies no community reentry program or clinic that provides comprehensive treatment services to justice involved women conducted by professionally trained staff. This project continues the development of a transitional clinic specifically for women exiting the criminal justice system, entitled The Empowerment Center, which provides evidenced based treatment, individualized case management and recovery services without charge to justice involved women. Participants with substance use and mental health disorders receive evidenced based programming and case management services by professional staff. This proposal outlines a semi structured treatment intervention that will also formerly evaluate the effectiveness of the program and its components. Participants of the program are women who are or who have been treated within the Cook County Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs (SWJP) at any time over the past 13 years. This allows women who have re-entered the community to return and receive services that might lead to relapse and recidivism.
Effective start/end date10/1/139/30/14


  • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (410229//2010-DJ-BX-0015)
  • Bureau of Justice Assistance (410229//2010-DJ-BX-0015)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.