A graduation ceremony is being held for 13 participants of the Rockford Reentry Service Center, a community-based center for formerly incarcerated men and women. Local community corrections leaders, graduates and their families will be in attendance.
The ceremony will take place at Restoration Cafe, located at 625 W. State St., on Thursday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Some graduates will discuss experiences from the program and plans for the future, and graduates will receive an acknowledgment from Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.
The program has more that 70 regular participants who report to the center daily for intensive treatment and training designed to prevent parolees from reentering the corrections system. The Illinois Department of Corrections opened the program to ease prison overcrowding and reduce recidivism rates.
To successfully complete the program and participate in the transition ceremony, participants must complete a program developed to change criminal thinking, remain free from drug and alcohol use for 90 days and participate in 90 percent of their prescribed group meetings. According to the service, the goal after participants graduate is full-time employment or school enrollment.