Re-entry Services for Returning Citizens

Re-entry Services for Returning Citizens is a multi-faceted statewide program that supports people released from prison—returning citizens—as they transition back into the community. Re-entry Services connect returning citizens to needed supportive assistance and helps them successfully adjust to living back in their community. All of the core components are designed to provide transitioning individuals with job knowledge and experience, a support system, and a stable life.

Additionally, LSSI has a contract with the Illinois Department of Corrections, which is called the Community Support Advisory Council . The Council enables LSSI staff to collaborate with critical area partners to ensure a successful transition of returning citizens into the community. Such partnerships reduce crime and improve a community’s quality of life.

Building Homes: Rebuilding Lives

LSSI collaborates with the Illinois Department of Corrections, Habitat for Humanity, and other non-profits 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)

The Scholarship Trades Program (STP) 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 60-90 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 can 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 Re-entry Opportunities (GRO)

Working with churches and community organizations, returning citizens plant, maintain, and harvest community gardens. The harvest helps to feed their families and other families in need through local feeding programs.

Supportive Services from Local Churches

Churches are invited to help returning citizens by providing:

  • Hygiene kits
  • In-kind donations as needed
  • Meeting space
  • 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.

For more information on Re-entry Services for Returning Citizens, please call 618.997.9076, ext. 861 or email