Advocacy Updates: March 9, 2023


March 9, 2023 | by Amber Smock

Accessible Public Safety Webinar: A Pathway Forward

Wednesday, March 15th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Central

43% of people with disabilities are arrested at least once by age 28. And of course, racial disparities are involved. For example, African Americans with disabilities experience a 53% chance of being arrested by the same age. As a result, it’s clear that people with disabilities require disability-centered community support to sustain their success in the community. We propose enhancing the diversion and reentry support system by applying established community integration practices.

Join Access Living, the Statewide Council on Independent Living, and Access Living’s Diversion & Reentry Policy Analyst Chris Huff as we discuss the plan to create an Accessible Public Safety system.

Webinar Goals:  

– Understand how disability-centered community integration can be used to improve public safety. 

– Identify key services and supports that need to be integrated and expanded to improve outcomes for impacted people with disabilities and their families. 

– Provide space and opportunity for people with disabilities to offer feedback and input on the implementation of an Accessible Public Safety system in Illinois.  

This webinar is presented by Access Living in collaboration with the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois (SILC).  ASL and CART are being provided.

 Or join by phone: 1(312) 626-6799

Speaker Bio: 

In April 2022, Chris Huff became the Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst at Access Living, a Chicago based service and advocacy non-profit organization for people with disabilities. In this role, Chris leads policy efforts centered on supporting people with disabilities impacted by the criminal legal system. 

Prior to joining Access Living, Chris led citywide community organizing efforts for Heartland Alliance’s READI Chicago, which aims to reduce gun violence through cognitive behavioral interventions, employment, and wrap-around social services for high-risk individuals. In addition, Chris helped lead student civic engagement efforts at University of Chicago’s University Community Service Center, where he designed and developed social justice-based cohort programs for undergraduate and graduate students at the university. Through his work at the Vera Institute of Justice, Chris also led formerly incarcerated youth in developing policy and program recommendations for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Last but certainly not least, Chris worked with the University of Chicago – Institute of Politics where he advised UChicago students on ways to use their educational experiences to meaningfully engage in civic engagement efforts on Chicago’s Southside. 

Chris has served on the board of Chicago Votes, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering young people and engaging them in the political process, and on the board of the Cook County Detention Center where he supported efforts to eliminate solitary confinement. Chris currently serves as a member of the Illinois Justice Project’s – Illinois Reentry Council and Illinois Department of Human Services – Department of Mental Health – CESSA (Community Emergency Support Services) Act Statewide Advisory Committee.  

Chris has a bachelor’s degree in political communication and economic development from Oglethorpe University, and a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago. Chris also received a certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science.