Prisoner Re-entry Program in Rockford

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Local leaders aren't waiting around for any formal decisions from Springfield. They're moving forward with plans to help prisoners transition back into society. The move comes on the heels of a measure approved by the house and senate that aims to reduce prison crowding by releasing some inmates early.

The local program aimed at helping people get jobs and transition back to life on the outside will be a joint effort between local leaders and the state's attorney. The mayor hopes to pay for the initiative with money that's already in the budget. He says one of Rockford's biggest problems is that people get out of prison and go right back in because they don't know any other way to live.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey said, "What happens routinely is that inmates get released into the Rockford community without a game plan. What we have in place currently is a lot of parts. What we don't necessarily have is a system that works well together."

Rockford only has one place where people can go for help when they get out of prison. It's called Spotlight Re-Entry.

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  • by Mike Location: Rockford on May 31, 2012 at 07:59 PM
    This plan has failed to get off the ground since early 2010 when it was first studied. Kane Cty has had it in place since 1995 and it is a money maker as well as successful. City Taxpayer, you can't imprison everyone and that is the direction we have been moving in. Guess what, they all come back home at some point, and if they are not helped they just come back worse then they left. If the SA, Mayor and city get moving with this then just maybe we stand a chance before we bankrupt ourselves paying to jail everyone.
  • by Bob on May 31, 2012 at 02:19 PM
    I think these efforts are a very good step in the right direction! The focus for far too long in this country has been on punishment rather then rehabilitation and began when the "War on Drugs" campaign was started! Since then the USA has had the highest incarceration rate in the world! The business of any prison should be to go out of business. Criminal activity is scary thing but people who have no forgiveness and love in their hearts is even more disturbing.
  • by City Taxpayer Location: Rockford on May 31, 2012 at 02:18 PM
    Epperson said the recent rash of crimes is being committed by the newly released or the on parole. The Mayor freely admits there is no plan to help them. Do they even care about the public they said they would protect and serve?? I think not. They are fully aware of the problems yet they refuse to do anything to fix them.
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