OBK Provides ‘New Programs to Reduce Recidivism’ for our Returning Citizens in the Illinois / St. Louis-Metro East area.

How we reduce recidivism!

1) OBK Clients are the Boss. Clients express their needs, concerns, and hopes. OBK really cares and addresses their needs using a variety of in-house and other service agencies.  OBK is aware of many different ways to help clients get what they want. This is a Holistic approach that includes the client, family and the community.

2) OBK addresses Traumas from prison and jail incarceration. University of Illinois studies confirm 100% of returning citizens suffer from the Traumas caused by brutal incarceration. The Traumas will cause most offenders to repeat offend. OBK programs increases the likelihood these men and women will not repeat offend and go back to prison or jail! Following Aristotle’s model that “Man is a Social Being,” the only way any of us can survive is by helping each other. Aristotle says we all have unique strengths as well as weaknesses. Clients must use their abilities to help others’ weaknesses. At the same time clients cannot be afraid to ask others to help address the client’s personal weaknesses.

3) Literacy: Poor Reading and Comprehension Skills. Clients with poor reading skills tend to get low-paying jobs.  Then they struggle to pay bills and resort to use illegal ways to “make ends meet” which can result in prison time. About one-third of our clients are literacy impaired and therefore likely to repeat offend. OBK helps returning citizens address their literacy needs by one-on-one tutored classes that can advance client’s reading skills up to seven grades in less-than 7 months.

4) Life Skills: OBK classes promote behavioral morals, work ethics and team work for job readiness. A key element is the importance of having good friends. Everyone should try to have friends of different sex, color, ages, skills, faith, and ethnicity to grow their human knowledge and respect for the dignity of each person in their life.

5) Job Skills: OBK offers classes that promote financial responsibility through money management & credit-establishing, job searching/resume/applications, computer & smart phone training, housing, and transportation based on the clients objectives and goals.

6) Faith: OBK is open to all faiths and religions where clients are encouraged to pray in thankfulness, ask for forgiveness and healing. Clients are reminded that Jesus was brutally tortured, hung on a cross and died to give us knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of our sins. The clients are encouraged to forgive others regardless of whether others forgive them. Restorative Justice for victims may be possible for victims, offender and community.

OBK provides new approaches to reducing recidivism by providing emotional, physical and spiritual support in recognizing the human dignity and experiences of each person.

Michael Schuette; Director, OBK Program Director