News & Views

Recidivism Tracking

Recidivism is not a word that flows easily over a speaker’s tongue, but it is a critical and frequently used indicator of success with all SLM programs. Late in the summer of each year, SLH and GH staff track recidivism rates with the Illinois Department of Corrections. There is some margin of error in this process but it does yield a fairly accurate indicator of SLM’s main objective – keeping people out of prison. In September, SLH completed its 20th year of tracking former residents with only 21% of former residents returning to prison into the third year of re-entry. Grace House statistics are equally impressive at only 5%. The general rate of return among those exiting Illinois prisons is upwards of 50%.  The real truth in these numbers is that formerly incarcerated men and women sincerely want to rebuild their lives and stay out of prison and when resources are provided, they will do so.