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Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research

About the Center
Policy Center Objectives
Service Projects
Publications and Reports
Upcoming Events
IRB - Departmental Research Procedures and Forms
Center Staff
Contact Us

About the Center

The Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research is directed by Creasie Finney Hairston, who is also Dean of the College. Dr. Hairston is one of the pioneers in the development of family programs for correctional populations and has conducted research and written extensively on the impact of incarceration on families and communities.

The Policy Center′s mission is to bring together the resources of academic institutions and community and advocacy groups to advance social welfare policies and programs that meet the needs of urban communities, especially poor families and children. To accomplish this mission, the Policy Center supports research that addresses the root causes of the issues faced by unserved and underserved communities. The Center also sponsors service projects that directly help those in need.

Policy Center Objectives

  • Cosponsor and host roundtables and forums that bring together experts from around the world to create dialog and promote solutions through exchange of ideas.
  • Forges partnerships between the university and community organizations, advocacy groups, government officials, and religious, philanthropic and business leaders;
  • Engages faculty in interdisciplinary applied research and analysis of current public policies in order to create new knowledge and provide a foundation for changes in policy;
  • Disseminates research findings and policy briefs to educate policymakers, community leaders, concerned individuals and organizations about the problems facing at risk populations;
  • Develops, tests, and evaluates models for providing effective services to older adults and others;
  • Maintains an extensive resource collection of research studies and training material in each of the center's areas of focus.


  • Children, Families and the Criminal Justice System. A series of studies of prisoners' family ties and social networks during and following incarceration and of the impact of parental incarceration on children and families.
  • Prisoner Re-Entry. A multi-state investigation of community reentry and reintegration following incarceration and of the factors, including service access and use, associated with the post-release success and recidivism of former prisoners.
  • Human Rights. An examination of the state of Illinois' response to the problem of human trafficking.
  • Housing Matters. A study of the ways housing and neighborhoods affect the well being of children and families.

Service Projects

  • Central West Case Management Unit. A service delivery unit that provides case management services annually to nearly 4000 elderly citizens residing on Chicago's west side. The unit serves as a training site for social work students and as a research site for faculty.
  • Kinship Care and the Child Welfare System. A program that develops training materials, evaluates services, and provides technical assistance to ensure safety, well-being, and permanent homes for children. The project involves collaborative work with extended families, community groups, and the child welfare system.

Selected Publications & Reports

Justice Advocates: Citizens Alert and Police Accountability. C. Hounmenou, 2012.

Justice Advocates: Citizens Alert and Police Accountability Timeline. C. Hounmenou, 2012.

Human Trafficking in Illinois – Fact Sheet. C. Hounmenou.

Standards for Monitoring Human Rights of People in Police Lockups. C. E. Hounmenou, 2010.

Exploring a Statewide Coalition Involved in Human Trafficking Policy Implementation. Research Brief. C. E. Hounmenou, 2010.

Immigration Enforcement: Considerations for Child Welfare Systems. A.J. Dettlaff, & S.D. Phillips. 2007.

What we Know Now that we Didn't Know Then about the Criminal Justice System's Involvement in Families with whom Child Welfare Agencies have Contact. S.D. Phillips, J.P. Gleeson. 2007.

Women Prisoners and Recidivism: Factors Assoicated with Re-Arrest One Year Post-Release.   R.E. Bates. 2004.

Family Connections During Imprisonment and Prisoners' Community Reentry .  C.F. Hairston, J. Rollin, &  H.J. Jo. 2004.

Serving Incarcerated Mothers and their Babies in Community-Based Residences .  C.F. Hairston, R.E. Bates, & S. Lawrence-Wills.  2003.

Children and Families of Incarcerated Parents: A View from the Ground .  R.E. Bates, S. Lawrence-Wills, & C.F. Hairston.  2003.


Barens Receives Oscar Nomination for Documentary

Edgar Barens, Visiting Media Specialist with the Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research, received a 2014 Oscar Nomination for his documentary, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Jack Hall, a film that calls attention to the growing population of aging and chronically ill prisoners and the urgent need to address end-of-life concerns in correction settings. Prison Terminal will debut on HBO on March 31. Read more at: https://news.uic.edu/oscar-nominated-film-focuses-attention-on-serious-topic


Creasie Finney Hairston, Ph.D.

Joseph Strickland, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Edgar Barens
Visiting Media Specialist

Jodie Bargeron, MSW
Mental Health Research Specialist

Contact Us

Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research (MC 309)
Jane Addams College of Social Work
University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Phone: (312) 996-3219
E-mail: policycenter@uic.edu