Parolee Database Helping Police Cut Down on Crime

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's a story we hear all too often, an ex-felon getting into trouble with the law. In fact on Thursday we told you about a man who was arrested on new drug charges not even two weeks after leaving prison. He was not enrolled yet in the newly launched parolee database.

As a case manager at Carpenter’s Place Daniel Rohrer works with many ex-offenders helping them find housing, healthcare, and jobs. He uses a database called MPOWR to find out more information about his clients and better serve their needs.

"We're looking at all sorts of things like what kind of identification they have, what’s their history like, and how we can move forward," Rohrer, said.

Carpenter’s Place has used the database for years but now its expanded so several agencies can log-on at the same time, including the Rockford Police Department. Now ex-offenders are entered into the database after attending a parolee call-in meeting. It's just one more way the officers can keep track of these individuals and make sure they're not falling back into a life of crime.

"If a returning citizen comes out and gives their address and says hey I’m living here, I want to make sure they're living there and I want to go out and have contact with them and make sure they're not out committing other crimes," Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke, said.

Many times when the jail cell opens and an inmate returns to society they're required to get certain services, but with more than 900 parolees in Winnebago county, some fall through the cracks and aren't held accountable. Now, with the police and Department of Corrections involvement with MPOWR that shouldn't happen.

"The end result that we want is for them to feel positive about themselves and to be given back to the community as a contributing member so that they are no longer, I guess they always say, trying to move from being tax consumers to tax payers,” Kay Larrick, Executive Director of Carpenter’s Place, said.

Right now there are about 140 people who have been through the parolee call-in program and are in the MPOWR system. Ex-offenders can choose not to be entered into the database, but it's highly recommended since the city says it will help those individuals get the services they need.

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