Illinois is launching its first ever Life Skills Reentry Center in Kewanee to help inmates nearing release transition more easily to life outside of prison. The facility will prepare inmates by teaching them skills like using technology, applying for jobs and managing finances. The center is in a former juvenile correctional facility that closed in July. Warden Tony Williams will oversee the operation. He tells the Illinois Radio Network that he believes the center will reduce the number of repeat offenders.
The state is looking to open another Life Skills Reentry Center for males in Murphysboro and one for female inmates at Logan Correctional Center. Nearly half of all Illinois inmates return to prison within three years of release. Illinois pays on average over $38,000 annually per inmate, which is above the national average of $31,000.