ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As Rockford leaders try to tackle its issues of crime and education, they hope to get a few tips from a Chicago organization.
Hundreds of city leaders met for the "We Are Rockford" luncheon at Giovanni's to discuss ways to tackle issues of crime, education and housing. That includes becoming a part of the Re-deploy Illinois" program, where juvenile offenders are given options other than jail time. The program has helped reduce the jail population in 28 counties by 51-percent.
Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber of Commerce President, says "Educational opportunities to ensure that these youth have alternatives other than a life of crime or violence to build upon for themselves so jail population goes down, crime reduction among st youth, that builds to a greater success model for our region."
We're told some of those practices are already in place, like creating an education council and political action committee.