The city of Racine, Wisconsin, has been greatly affected by the recession, taking major blows in unemployment and job losses. Racine is also home to an inordinately high number of repeat offenders, who leave jail or prison and have few opportunities–including opportunities for jobs–to help them successfully reenter the community. As a result, recidivism is costing the city millions of dollars.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently granted Racine $50,000 one of 15 grants dispersed throughout the country, for a Second Chance Act: Adult Offender Reentry Program for Planning and Demonstration Projects. With this funding, Racine is working with the Adler School’s Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) and Racine Vocational Ministry (RVM) to develop a five-year strategic plan for improving reentry support services to increase public safety and reduce recidivism.
The IPSSJ is guiding and will evaluate a year-long planning process with the city and RVM, which helps reentrants find jobs through mentoring and follow-up, addressing life issues and the impact on careers. The goal is to reduce recidivism and help ex-offenders successfully reenter society, through city and private collaboration on a program that can serve as a national model.
Read more about “Adler School IPSSJ Partners with Racine on U.S. Justice Grant-Funded Project to Reduce Recidivism” over on the Adler School News page. As the article notes, Racine journalist and teacher Elizabeth Oplatka, who is completing her master’s degree in counseling and organizational psychology here at the Adler School, helped spearhead the project and remains working with IPSSJ and Racine on its development.