State Initiatives

A Multi-Year Systems-Change Strategy 
The IDOC began partnering with the WJI in March 2015 to launch the state's first Gender Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) at Logan Correctional Center, the state's largest and most complex women's prison.

The IL-GIPA was the most comprehensive in the nation and the first to engage formerly incarcerated women and their families. Since then, it has formed the basis for a comprehensive, multi-year gender responsive systems change policy practices strategy supported by the WJI, Alyssa Benedict of CORE Associates and the National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women.

Through this project, IL also became the first state to pass WJI's national model legislation, ​​​​​​​​​​​​ The Women's Correctional Services Act (WCA) , establishing the most comprehensive gender responsive policies for any probation and parole system in the nation.  
The Gender Informed Practice Assessment (GIPA)
Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)
On November 18, 2016, the Chicago-based Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) hosted a forum to convene top IDOC Officials, national experts and local leaders with formerly incarcerated women and their families to support the release of a groundbreaking report revealing critical challenges at Logan Correctional Center, and to feature details of an unprecedented IDOC women’s corrections reform strategy.

The report was commissioned by the current IDOC administration, in partnership with the Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) and its network of key stakeholders and national experts. It was developed in response to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s criminal justice reform mandate and to address longstanding challenges at Logan.

A USDOJ National Institute of Corrections protocol, called the Gender Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA), served as the basis for the report. It provides corrections systems with a baseline to build gender responsive, evidence-based reforms for the treatment of women in prisons and on parole. 

The forum focused on the critical findings and recommendations in the report and IDOC’s new reform strategies.  

The IL GIPA Report Summary was authored by:  Executive Director of CORE Associates, Alyssa Benedict, and WJI Founder & Project Director, Deanne Benos.

Request a copy of the IL GIPA HERE or email us for more information at

​​​​IL State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform
Includes WJI Recommendations
for Gender Responsive Correctional Practices in Final Report
IL State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform Issues 
Final Report of Recommendations December 2016
In December 2016, the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform officially endorsed a series of recommendations being advocated by the WJI and our stakeholders by including them in their final report to the Governor.

The reforms are directly linked to the landmark Gender Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) report that was conducted at Logan Correctional Center with generous support from the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women and the National Institute of Corrections in partnership with the IDOC and the WJI stakeholder network.  They were presented to the Commission by IL GIPA Coach Alyssa Benedict in September 2016.