[Chicago, IL, March 29, 2016] – On Thursday, March 31, A Safe Haven Foundation’s co-founder and president, Neli Vazquez Rowland will speak at the Symposium on Incarceration and Women hosted by Loyola University School of Law. The event will take place at 12:00 Noon at Loyola University’s Corboy Law Center, and joining Neli Vazquez on the panel are corrections advocates, who will share their knowledge and expertise on the topic of women and incarceration. The panelists will address the reality of prison for women, the effects of prison on women and the consequences in their lives and their communities.
The leadership at A Safe Haven began researching the issue of incarceration early on, and identified the high correlation rate as well as high costs associated with poverty and incarceration rates. Frustrated by the lack of alternatives to solving the root causes often due to drug and alcohol and other non-violent offenses, A Safe Haven started building a solution, advocating for prison reform and poverty issues. Today, we are grateful that our voice is being amplified by the many stakeholders in the community including: academia and government leaders; and we are honored that A Safe Haven is being lauded as both a national and international innovative model, anchored in success, and that the issues are also being discussed by bi-partisan leaders from our Nation’s capital and around the Country as priority issues.
Over the last 22 years, A Safe Haven has become an anchor provider for men and women exiting Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), and for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. A Safe Haven has provided housing and pre- and post-release reentry case management and intensive supportive services to incarcerated and parole inmates from a number of Illinois institutions.
A Safe Haven and related entities also have a long history of working with corrections impacted populations that may also be referred to A Safe Haven from various Health and Human Service agencies at all government levels like the Illinois Department of Children and various Family Services Family Drug Court programs.
“I am honored to take part in this important discussion on the causes and effects of incarceration on women, particularly in Illinois, but across the United States” said Vazquez Rowland. “Incarcerated women face a unique set of challenges both while they are in prison and post-release. As a leading organization in assisting re-entry populations, A Safe Haven understands the gender-specific issues that affect women who have undergone these hardships. It is our duty as community leaders, government representatives, policy makers and activists to ensure that these women and their children have the support and comprehensive services they need in order to return to society in a manner that will allow for stability and self-sufficiency while greatly reducing, if not eliminating, the chance of recidivism”.