By Darryl Jefferson, MATD Candidate, TRDV 499
In May of 2008, I was employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections/Roosevelt University’s Department of Human & Community Renewal to work in the Life Skills Reentry Program (LSRP) . We are a not-for-profit organization funded by the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve the ex-offender population in Chicago Metro area.
For twenty-three years, the Roosevelt University’s LSRP has been providing degree-based and non-degree-based educational opportunities for ex-offenders within the Illinois Department of Correctional facilities and at RU facilities. In 2001, the Illinois Department of Corrections cut the educational funding for higher education based on the state budget issues. Since 2001, the budget crisis reduced educational opportunities within the prisons, and the Life skills reentry program was awarded to continue services for case management, personal career development classes and educational opportunities here at RU. The program was able to hold ground until June of 2012 when budget issues cut the program all together. On July 1, 2012, our program was reinstated by the Illinois Department of Corrections to continue until October 31, 2012 for review, based on the grounds of reducing the recidivism rate and the amount of ex-offenders obtaining and maintain employment.
Do you think the LSRP has made a productive contribution to the ex-offender population? Should the tax payers be concerned about this program being cut? Should this program remain funded?
Reference: Ex-offender Reentry Programs Need More Attention