From There to Here – Kane County Sheriff Introduces First of its Kind Supportive Reentry Program
In the coming weeks, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain will be launching a pilot program to return Kane County inmates who are scheduled to be released from the Illinois Department of Corrections, back to the Kane County jail to complete their sentences and prepare for reentry into the community. The program is the first of its kind in the nation and is aimed at reducing recidivism.
"Without taking this step, there's a strong chance they'll return to our community, continuing to commit crimes and harm others," said Hain. “We have effective programs and resources in place, dedicated to lowering the likelihood of reoffending."
Sheriff Hain worked to enact a state law (HB3755) that allows the Department of Corrections (DOC) to transfer the custody of an inmate, with 12 months or less on their sentence, to the Sheriff of the county in which the person resides. The cost of the reentry process is funded by the participating county.
"From employment and job training to housing and transportation, we possess all the essential resources to facilitate this process," said Hain. “It makes perfect sense to us to bring specific inmates back to Kane County Jail before their release, enabling us to manage their reentry comprehensively."
“I'm investing in our public safety by doing this," said Hain.
Kane County has seen the benefits of supportive reintegration. Kane County has experienced the advantages of supportive reintegration. The Sheriff's Office has implemented programs to aid inmates with education, job training/placement, drug treatment and housing assistance. The Sheriff's Office also maintains an open-door policy to support those who have been incarcerated and are facing challenges.
The result, Kane County went from a five year average from 2015-2020 of 49% recidivism (national average is 35%) to 18% recidivism in 2021 and beyond.
While the Illinois DOC is doing better at providing a more structured societal reentry for inmates, Sheriff Hain says $50 and a bus pass hasn't been impactful in keeping people from reoffending.
“We know more about how to prepare someone for release in Kane County than a prison in southern Illinois would," said Hain. “We have established programs and partnerships that work in our community."
Sheriff Hain says the selection of inmates in state custody will start small and will be limited to inmates who have already spent time in the Kane County Jail's recovery pod.
"By guiding individuals in the right direction upon their release, they are less likely to return to jail," said Hain. “With this new program and supportive services we've put in place, I'm literally trying to put the Sheriff's Office out of business by keeping people from committing crimes."