ROCKFORD (WIFR) – There’s a new plan to stop criminals from committing more crimes in our community. An online database just launched today and it’s expected to keep better tabs on parolees who move to the Stateline.
The point of the data sharing is to provide a stronger support network for parolees so that when they get to town, they’re not just dropped off and left to their own devices, because quite often, they fall right back into a pattern of committing crimes.
The Rockford Police Department got a state grant to set an electronic notification system for when a parolee arrives here, instead of the usual paper one.
Lutheran Social Services will also get that info. That agency has been hired to manage Rockford Parolee. Case workers will meet with parolees to help them find a place to live, land a job, and make them feel connected to the community so they won’t have a reason to reoffend.
“We continue to treat them negatively as if they are still committing crimes even though they are back in society and once we start treating them as individuals and as many other citizens in our community, it’s going to be better results for everybody," said Dyanna Chandler with the Rockford Area Violence Elimination Network.
This database compliments the parolee call-in program the city started this spring. The goal of that program also gives parolees a support net and it seems to be working. Of the 113 people who called in, only 4 have gone back to jail.
Rockford is the first city in Illinois to share this much detail with the State Department of Corrections. Both agencies have employees training with the software now.