Heartland Alliance

Advancing human rights and championing human dignity

Grantee Cohort Spring 2019

Location National

Heartland Alliance advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of marginalized populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society. Heartland Alliance believes everyone in society benefits when people who experience disparities are able to exit poverty, heal from trauma, achieve stability, secure their rights, and shape policies that respond to their needs. Heartland Alliance’s Research & Policy Division was established in 1989 to address the root causes of poverty and inequity through research, policy and systems change, and field building. The Division leverages a multi-faceted theory of social change approach that includes: (1) identifying social problems and learning what works; (2) seeding, incubating, and catalyzing policy and systems change; (3) mobilizing and supporting change-makers; and (4) sharing knowledge widely.

With its current grant, Heartland Alliance will center and support the lived expertise of people directly impacted by the criminal legal system in leadership roles among its growing state coalition, and strategically advance legislation to reform restrictions that create barriers to employment, housing and education for Illinois residents with criminal records. They will also leverage research, including their Never Fully Free Report, to illustrate the economic and social ripple effects of permanent punishments.

Previously, Art for Justice invested in Heartland Alliance’s efforts to build capacity and readiness among its staff, leaders with lived expertise of criminal justice involvement, and other partners in order to plan a new campaign in Illinois to address wholesale collateral consequence reform of the criminal justice system.