County Plays Role in Ending Cycle of Recidivism
One of the County Board’s strategic priorities is to reduce recidivism – the habitual relapse into crime. One way the County is addressing this issue is by focusing on programs for non-violent offenders with a mental illness and those who suffer form substance abuse. Non-violent offenders are connected with the resources they need to manage their mental illness or kick the habit of drugs and alcohol abuse while they’re in the criminal justice system and before they move back into society.
The County has also put in place after-care and re-entry programs that provide treatment and intensive monitoring of offenders. The County works closely with the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism and other social service providers to integrate services such as housing, employment, life skills coaching, and social support, in addition to treatment.
The drug court program has had a nearly 80% success rate with a majority of clients obtaining full-time employment following the program. Also, as the County sees a decrease in the number of jail days among these clients, the result is a local savings to taxpayers. Nevertheless, jail overcrowding remains an issue and the County continues to evaluate alternatives.
Why should I care?
- Crime is socially and economically damaging to communities.
- In Illinois, 2/3 of those released from prison are re-arrested.
- Lake County Cost of Incarceration: $82/day per defendant; $30,000 per year (Source: Lake County Sheriff’s Office).
- Reducing recidivism enhances public safety.