CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One Champaign-based non-profit has been counting down the days until the SAFE-T Act went into effect. It’s something leaders at First Followers have been pushing for.

Their organization is a re-entry program, supporting people who were once in jail. James Kilgore, the advocacy director, feels it puts Illinois at the forefront of criminal justice reform.

He knows it’ll take time to adjust to the change, but he’s excited to see it play out.

As people start coming out of jail, Kilgore is expecting a lot of them to contact First Followers for help. He wants to do as much as he can.

“I think more importantly, being out gives them a much better opportunity to put their lives back together and to also get a much more favorable result from the criminal legal system,” Kilgore said.

He said as more people reach out for help, First Followers will have to make changes such as providing more housing and employment opportunities, as well as upgrading their resources.