There are more than 1,000 parolees currently in Winnebago County, which is the third highest in the state. There is also roughly the same number of inmates from this county waiting to be released back into the community. With out help, these people will almost certainly fall back into the life they know, a life of crime, and jail time. But State Rep. Chuck Jefferson says it doesn’t have to be this way.
"Make sure we are offering those individuals the opportunity to become productive citizens. It won’t always work out but we need to make sure we are doing our part," said Jefferson.
Ongoing chemical addictions, lack of money and transportation, and especially the title of ex-con make it difficult for paroles to find jobs without help.
At the crime advisory committee, community leaders discussed how to better help those who need it, and at the same time keep the city safe. Many of the measures talked about will be done after a crime has been committed, and time has been served. But all agree that prevention is the best way to keep people out of prison.