Statewide Criminal Justice Association Names Director: Edna R. Lee Takes Helm of Justice Advocacy Group

(Chicago) – The Illinois Association for Criminal Justice (IACJ) has named Oak Park resident Edna R. Lee as its inaugural director. Founded in 2010, IACJ is a membership group of criminal justice researchers, advocates, and service providers in Illinois.

Ms. Lee comes to IACJ with more than 25 years of experience in leadership of community-based organizations and correctional programs, including managing offender reentry and employment services within the Crossroads and North Lawndale Adult Transition Centers (ATCs).

“As Illinois seeks answers to reduce prison overcrowding while maintaining public safety, IACJ’s role in positively impacting public policy decisions is more important than ever,” said Diane Williams, president of the Safer Foundation and president of IACJ. “Edna Lee brings a wealth of practical experience, knowledge, and political acumen that will help advance necessary criminal justice reforms in Illinois.”

Prior to joining IACJ, Lee led Positive Anti-Crime Thrust (PACT), which develops community-based programs to interact with police, courts, and corrections to reduce crime. During her career, Lee also has administered numerous programs that serve individuals involved in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The mission of IACJ is to ensure quality, comprehensive and coordinated services for people with criminal histories. Through public advocacy and community capacity- building, IACJ promotes the use of proven practices to reduce recidivism and restore individuals to stability and productivity within their communities.

IACJ currently has 286 individual and organizational members across Illinois. The Association was founded by the Safer Foundation; Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC, Inc.); Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies; and University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work. The IACJ also would like to acknowledge the support of The Chicago Community Trust, which, for nearly 100 years, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago.

For more information about the IACJ, please visit


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