The national recidivism rate (percentage of re-incarcerated persons) is around fifty percent. In Illinois, the number is slightly higher. From this data one could easily conclude that communities lack the resources to support individuals getting back on their feet after prison. There may be some communities for which that is true, but, by-and-large, we’ve reached a different conclusion.
We consistently hear social service providers describing programs and resources that go underutilized. This suggests that adequate assistance is available, but that people don’t know where to find it. We believe twin barriers of invisibility and isolation prevent individuals from making meaningful, supportive connections with churches and service providers.
To address these barriers, we are working with a team of web developers to create a mobile-responsive website on which to host a statewide Inside-Out Network (ION). We hope ION will bring value to the systemic landscape of prison re-entry by fostering connections that have historically been missed. ION is expected to be ready for launch by the end of June. Stay tuned!