Looking Beyond Saint Leonard’s Recidivism Successes

This newsletter was sent to our Saint Leonard’s community email subscribers on August 18, 2023. If you would like to receive future news from Saint Leonard’s, join us and subscribe to receive email updates.

Dear Saint Leonard’s Community,

Cook County Jail Chaplin Father James Jones founded Saint Leonard’s Ministries in 1954 because he recognized it was challenging for men returning from Cook County Jail to find housing and employment with the stigma of incarceration on their record. Kitty Jones, Father Jones’ wife, knew they could not keep bringing people to live with them in their tiny apartment.

Thus, Saint Leonard’s House opened. 

One of their original goals is no different from Saint Leonard’s Ministries goal today – keep people from returning to the carceral system. I am proud to report our recidivism rates at Saint Leonard’s Ministries continue to significantly outpace state averages!

State of Illinois recidivism compared to Saint Leonard's Ministries over a three year period

For Father Jones and his team, it was more than keeping people from returning to jail; it was about providing the time, care and dignified environment for people to begin the healing process of reentry. Even in Saint Leonard’s Ministries early years, our holistic approach and work goes far beyond recidivism percentages. 

We know that embracing our Community with dignity, respect and support is key to their success. We measure how our residents and program participants feel about Saint Leonard’s programing and approach. The survey results show very high levels of satisfaction across the breadth of Saint Leonard’s and Grace House programing. Here are some of the highlights.

Satisfaction survey results for Saint Leonard's Ministries

As we look to our next 70 years, we have exciting, innovative and dynamic changes to share in the coming months and years. These updates will enhance our ability to care for people, create accessibility for aging returning citizens and continue to reduce recidivism rates with the respect and love the Saint Leonard’s Community was founded on.

Please consider becoming a part of the Faces of Saint Leonard’s with a one time or reoccurring monthly gift. If you have questions about Saint Leonard’s, our work, how you can get involved, or making a donation, we want to hear from you!

Zack Schrantz
Executive Director  

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