CHICAGO – August 23, 2010 – The Illinois Department of Corrections is partnering with a faith-based organization “Job Partnership” to teach inmates how to be better citizens upon their release from incarceration. Fifteen currently incarcerated women participated in the current program at Dwight Correctional Center and received their diploma at a graduation ceremony held in the prison last week.
“This program is designed to allow offenders to gain positive work habits through a biblically based program during a 12-week course," said Dwight Correctional Center Warden Sheryl Thomson. "Offenders are specially chosen for the program with emphasis on their release date to ensure that when they graduate from Job Partnership they will be ready for the work force upon reentry into the community. These inmates gain a sense of self worth as they participate in the program. Offenders come into our facility everyday and they are released on parole everyday, we must do everything we can to ensure they do not re-offend when they are sent back to the community. This program allows offenders to be productive citizens and is an asset to reentry programming.”
IDOC operates 27 prisons throughout Illinois in addition to work camps, boot camps and adult transition centers. The agency is committed to operating a safe and secure prison system as well as enhancing prison-based treatment, prevention programs and the successful reentry of inmates into society which will lead to lowering recidivism rates.
Jobs Partnership is a 12-week faith-based character education employment program that is currently being used at the Pontiac and Dwight Correctional Centers. In September the program will be expanding into the Decatur Correctional Center. Fifty four inmates have graduated from this program. Development and work skills training is provided by Illinois Central College. Currently the program works with employers in the Peoria and Bloomington area to have jobs available for inmates upon their release and they are hoping to expand to other counties in Illinois.