Transition celebrations in Illinois honor graduates of intensive reentry programs

Participants of GEO Reentry Services’ day reporting centers for parolees in Decatur and East St. Louis, Illinois, were honored in transition celebrations in January.

The ceremonies commemorate a participant’s graduation from GEO Reentry’s intensive reentry programs and their return to their communities.

The first graduation celebration took place on Jan. 14 in Decatur for the Decatur/GEO Reentry Service Center, while the second ceremony took place on Jan. 21 for the East St. Louis/GEO Reentry Service Center.

The celebrations are a way to honor participants and acknowledge their hard work to local community corrections leaders and the participants’ own family members.

Both Illinois centers offer reentry programming founded on evidence-based treatment that includes techniques and classes proven to reduce recidivism. Participants must undergo cognitive behavioral therapy developed to change criminal behavior, as well as maintain sobriety for 90 days and participate in 90 percent of their prescribed group meetings to successfully complete the program.

Participants are coached in gaining employment or enrolling in school by the completion of their program, as studies have found that consistent employment is a key factor in stopping the cycle of crime for individuals.

Both reentry centers were opened by the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2004 to ease prison overcrowding and reduce recidivism rates among adult parolees.

The Decatur/GEO Reentry Service Center is located at 876 W. Grand Ave. The East St. Louis/GEO Reentry Service Center is located at 10 Collinsville Ave., Suite 201.

Read more about GEO Reentry’s approach to non-residential reentry.