Transition for former Kewanee youth detention center creates new jobs


KEWANEE, Ill. (KWQC) – We are learning more about a plan for the former Kewanee youth prison. The Illinois Department of Corrections plans to create a Life Skills Re-entry Program at the facility. Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justices decided to close the youth detention center, saying there are better ways to rehabilitate troubled kids. Then, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, we learned a new program for adult offenders will be housed in the facility.

Officials say the program provides offenders with education and job skills. There is an application process in which inmates are asked to write out their goals and explain why they’re in prison.

“We are going to focus on life skills that will help them re-enter into society, and be more successful than our current rates are,” said John Baldwin, Dir. of the IIllinois Department of Corrections.

The pilot program is a first-of-it’s-kind in the U.S. It is expected to start in about two months. About 100 inmates will be enrolled initially, increasing to 300 over time.
The D.O.C. is also looking to hire 60 – 80 people in the area to work at the center. A job fair will be held next week.

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