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  4. Illinois Department of Corrections holds first parole agent graduation for 2014

Illinois Department of Corrections holds first parole agent graduation for 2014 

SPRINGFIELD – March 21, 2014 – The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) held a graduation ceremony today in Springfield for 23 new parole agents. The new parole agent graduates will help support the agency’s goals of effective reentry management and increasing public safety.

“The department’s commitment to successful reentry is imperative to building safer communities for the citizens of Illinois and reducing recidivism,” said IDOC Director S.A. “Tony” Godinez. “The excellent training received by the agency’s new parole agents serves to improve the supervision and monitoring of parolees and promoting public safety.”

The eight-week parole agent training program includes a regimen of physical and classroom instruction as well as firearms, case management and computer training. The computer training provides them with the technological mobility to be out in the community while monitoring and supervising parolees, using a computerized case management and tracking system.

The Parole Division serves to address public safety and the reentry process. The division has initiated numerous programs and processes to reduce recidivism, address parolee risk to the community and provide numerous reentry services for ex-offenders. Parole provides a series of resources and graduated sanctions in a community-based setting to reduce recidivism. Part of this program involves the use of Day Reporting Centers that serve as resource centers and reentry hubs for persons under parole supervision in high-impact regions throughout the state who are by vulnerable to drugs, crime, gangs, violence, unemployment, poverty and family dissolution. The centers provide counseling, programs and services to support the parolee's transition into society. The centers include a highly structured program that offers an alternative sanction for non-violent parole violators. The agency's parole efforts also support the Sheridan Drug Prison and Reentry Program and the Meth Prison and Reentry Program at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center, which are two prison-based therapeutic communities dedicated to providing drug treatment and reentry services for drug involved offenders.

Summit of Hope events also are frequently held throughout the state in providing community expos of services and support to encourage and supply those reentering into society with the tools needed to become crime-free responsible members of society. The Summit of Hope is an invitation only event for local parolees in each community. The event is designed to bring the community together, gather all the resources available, and put them under one roof in providing a one-stop environment where parolees can obtain the necessary assistance to move past the barriers which prevent them from success.

Twenty-three parole agents graduated March 21, 2014, at the Illinois Department of Corrections General Headquarters in Springfield. The new parole agents will help support the agency’s goals of effective reentry management and increasing public safety.