Pubdate: Wed, 03 Feb 2010
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2010 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Bridget C. Kiely


The criticism leveled at the Illinois Department of Corrections' early
release of prisoners threatens to tarnish the work at Illinois'
Sheridan and Southwestern Illinois Correctional Centers, which are
national models of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.

These programs reduce recidivism and increase recovery from
addictions. Key to their success is that supervision and
rehabilitation continue after release from prison.

Parolees go through step-down housing, community based treatment,
employment training, job placement services, anger management and
parole supervision.

An evaluation of the Sheridan program demonstrated a 21 percent lower
risk of re-arrest for a new crime than a comparison group of
prisoners, and a 44 percent lower risk of returning to prison than
other ex-inmates.

In the clamor of these public policy debates, let's be careful not to
undermine proven programs that treat addiction and protect public safety.

- -- Bridget C. Kiely, administrator,

Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, Rockford 
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