The 10 high-impact regions and their
adult parole populations are Cook-Chicago, 19,561, 59.7 percent;
collar counties, with emphasis on Aurora, 3,223, 9.8 percent; St.
Clair-Madison, 1,034, 3.1 percent; Winnebago, 930, 2.8 percent;
Champaign-Vermilion, 764, 2.3 percent; Macon, 638, 1.9 percent;
Peoria, 584, 1.8 percent; Sangamon, 488, 1.5 percent; Rock Island,
251, 0.8 percent; and Jefferson, 105, 0.3 percent.
There are approximately 33,000 adult
parolees in the process of re-entering Illinois communities today.
Among this population, those on parole after serving prison
sentences for committing drug offenses account for 42 percent of
parolees. Committing property offenses, which are commonly
associated with drug involvement, accounts for 27 percent of
parolees. Committing violent offenses accounts for 21.7 percent of
parolees, and committing sex offenses accounts for 4.2 percent of
"The state's rising recidivism rate
is a long-term public safety and public policy challenge," said
Roger Walker, director of the Department of Corrections. "It is
imperative that those who will be most impacted by the return of
ex-offenders to their neighborhoods … participate in finding
solutions to keeping their communities safe."
"The participants in this process
all have a demonstrated commitment to implementing viable programs
toward that end," added Department of Human Services Secretary Dr.
Carol L. Adams. "This collaboration builds upon the other positive
steps Governor Blagojevich has set in motion to reduce recidivism,
promote safe communities and build strong families, throughout the
state of Illinois."
For nearly 10 years, Illinois has
experienced record increases in its prison populations, along with
record releases of inmates into various communities once they have
completed their sentences. At the same time, over one-half of all
inmates released from prison are re-incarcerated within three years.
The parole reform program Operation
Spotlight addresses public safety by improving supervision of the
approximately 35,000 parolees in Illinois communities. This program
will dramatically increase the number of parole agents supervising
parolees, increase their contact with parolees by as many as six
times and provide them with the training they need to better assess
The Sheridan National Model Drug
Prison and Reentry Program seeks to better prepare incarcerated
offenders to be crime-free and drug-free citizens. In order to
address estimates that as many as 69 percent of all inmates in state
prisons have committed a drug or drug-related crime, the Sheridan
project aims to be the largest fully dedicated state drug prison and
re-entry program in the nation. After one year, the program is
showing promise. A recent report indicated that only 3 percent of
the first 150 offenders released were returned to prison, compared
with more than 10 percent of a comparison group.
[to top of second column in this article]
Community Safety and Re-entry Working Group public hearing
(as of April 12)
April 14, 9 a.m.-noon
Four Points Sheraton
226 17th St.
Ina, Jefferson County
April 25, 6:30-9 p.m.
Rend Lake College
Learning Resource Center
Room 158 Theater
468 North Ken Gray Parkway
East St. Louis
April 28, 7-9 p.m.
Clyde C. Jordan Citizen Center
6755 State St.
May 9, 6:30-9 p.m.
Provena Mercy Medical Center
1325 North Highland Ave.
May 21, 9 a.m.-noon
Living Word Fellowship Church
319 South Wheeler
Location to be determined
Location to be determined
June 25, 9 a.m.-noon
Champaign City Council Chambers
June 28, 4-7 p.m.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
530 W. Mound Road
Department of Corrections news release]