Reentry Services for Returning Citizens
A statewide program, Reentry Services for Returning Citizens is based on restorative justice principles of helping prisoners to become competent, to be accountable for their actions and to give back to the community. With community involvement as a priority, LSSI engages multiple churches and organizations in the goal of helping returning citizens create a new life.
One important collaborator in LSSI’s Reentry Services is the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Through a contract with IDOC called Community Support Advisory Council (CSAC), LSSI staff work as community organizers to bring together critical area partners to ensure a successful transition of returning citizens into the community, with the overall goal being to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in their communities.
Building Homes: Rebuilding Lives
LSSI collaborates with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Habitat for Humanity and other not-for-profit organizations to enable prison inmates to create housing components for homes for low-income families. Since 1995, more than 6,000 inmates at 23 federal, state and county correctional centers in Illinois have learned valuable trade skills as they have built components for more than 700 homes. Through this program, prisoners become competent in the construction trades field and give back to local communities.
Scholarship Trades Program (STP)
Returning citizens are invited to apply to Scholarship Trades Program (STP), which is an on-the-job training program with dedicated community organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. Returning citizens who receive the scholarships work for 60 to 90 days at the host site and, therefore, give back to the community in a significant way. The host sites provide supervision and connections with the local community, which may lead to full-time jobs.
Information and Referral Services
Returning citizens meet regularly with an outreach worker to create an Individualized Capacity Plan for their future. All life needs are addressed, including employment, education, housing, personal needs and family relations.
Employment Skills School (ESS)
A 23-day computer-based program, the ESS curriculum was developed by LSSI in collaboration with Southern Illinois University Work Force Development. Especially designed for returning citizens, ESS has a teacher student ratio of 1:3 and covers all aspects of employment training, from resume writing to interview skills.
Green Reentry Opportunities (GRO)
Working with churches and community organizations, returning citizens plant and maintain community gardens. The harvest helps to feed their families and other families in need through local feeding programs.
Partners in Compassion
Churches are invited to help returning citizens by providing hygiene kits, in-kind donations as needed, meeting space and individual support. On request, LSSI provides training for congregations interested in helping their own loved ones who are incarcerated and expanding their ministry to returning citizens in their area.
Phone: 618/997-9076, ext. 861 (Marion)