Our Brothers’ Keepers reentry services are a holistic, multi-faceted program that supports a returning citizen’s transition back into the community. Re-entry services connect the individual to needed supportive services and reduce the barriers that prevent successful reintegration.
Reentry services takes into account all of the individualized needs that a person integrating into the community may need in order to be successful in their transition. This includes many factors such as housing, social support, stabilized and structured living and employment.
- Increase employment skills and knowledge as well as to provide opportunities to build job experience.
- Provide structure and social outlets to help increase a returning citizen’s sense of community and self.
- Empower the citizen to understand their past, avoid any criminogenic patterns, and have hope for the future.
- Assist returning citizens in establishing a stable life style.
- Remove barriers during reintegration and to decrease the rate of recidivism.
Step 1 – Intake and Relationship Building
- During an initial 2-3 hour meeting, an assigned Re-entry Specialist completes an extensive intake with the returning citizen. Information is gathered about the returning citizen’s demographics, personal and criminal history. The Re-entry Specialist takes the time to get to know the individual and their story.
Step 2 – Resource Needs
- Through a series of conversations with the returning citizens, initial areas of need, both long and short term, are explored.
- Re-entry Specialists provide on-going support to the returning citizens, including follow-up 2-3 times per month. Working with the individuals to make sure they remain stable in the community and providing the assistance when needs arise.
Step 3 – Goal Development
- A service plan is developed with both short and long-term goals. The individualized plan addresses up to 21 different areas of need and helps determine which programs and/or community services would be most beneficial to the individual’s circumstances. Referrals are made to the appropriate program or services.
- Referral sources include Illinois Dept. of Corrections, County Probation, Local Correction Agencies, Parole Reentry Group, Community Referrals, and Local Churches.
Core Service Components:
Employment Skills School (ESS) is a 40-day curriculum-based program designed especially for returning citizens who are seeking employment. Activities include all aspects of employment training, an open computer lab for employment and educational related activities, intensive career development services, and periodic career counseling services for at least a year.
Green Re-entry Opportunities (GRO) is one of the community services activities that returning citizens can do. They work in a sponsored community garden that provides these individuals with the ability to learn agriculture, practice employment skills, and build experience for their resume. These programs provide the returning citizens with an opportunity to give back to the communities where they live while also allowing the community to gain a more positive perception of this population. All food grown in the gardens is donated to local food pantries and non-profit kitchens.
Bicycle to Work (BTW) is a program where bikes are donated to the program by the community and allows returning citizens the opportunity to restore the bikes. They are able to practice their employment skills, learn some mechanics, and build their resumes for employment. Some of the benefits of the program; are the recycling of an item that would otherwise add to a landfill, decrease the amount of green house gasses, and cycling has a positive impact upon the health of the individual. The program helps train returning citizens in bicycle building repair skills and produces bikes for returning citizens to use.
Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a systematic treatment strategy that sees to decrease recidivism of adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. The cognitive behavior approach combines the elements that address ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth.
Restorative Justice is a way to do justice that actively includes the people impacted by crime – victims, offenders, their families, and communities. Its goal is to respect and restore each as individuals, repair broken relationships, and contribute to the common good.