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NIC Advisory Board Chair Diane Williams awarded Champion Of Change
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Diane Williams, President and CEO of Safer Foundation and current Chair of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Advisory Board, recently joined an elite list of recipients of the Champion of Change award from the White House.  The "Champions of Change Series: Winning the Future Across America" is a White House initiative that honors Americans making an impact in their communities and helping the nation rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st Century. champions.jpg

From the Safer Foundation:

The recognition came for Safer's work implementing the Safer Return program in the East Garfield Park community of Chicago.  The program was featured in the Obama Administration's 2011 National Drug Control Strategy -- a blueprint for reducing substance abuse and its consequences across the country.  The five-year demonstration project is a product of a partnership between Safer and Urban Institute to develop a prisoner reentry initiative.  Made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Safer Return is an innovative, community-based pilot that engages the entire community in positively affecting prisoner reentry and reducing recidivism.

It is a collaborative effort of community members, law enforcement and corrections officials, service providers, businesses, and participants.  Participants are interviewed while they are in prison to begin reentry planning; then post-release, community-based professionals work with them on a range of important issues.

Williams said that programs like Safer Return provide a solid return on investment to the state by placing former inmates in jobs and ultimately keeping them out of the prison system.  It is estimated that Illinois pays over $22,000 per year to incarcerate each inmate.  Assuming an average stay of one year in prison, Safer saved the state more than $83 million as a result of having more than 3800 job starts in fiscal year 2011.  Further, Safer Foundation conducted a three-year study and found that formerly incarcerated individuals who attain employment have a recidivism rate of 18 percent, compared to the statewide average of 52 percent.

For additional information on the program see: Safer Return.




Posted Tue, Aug 9 2011 11:11 AM by Susan Powell

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