Rebecca Skorek is a former Authority research analyst, now Deputy Director of Research with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Chicago. Her work focuses on evaluating incarceration trends and department policies and programs to address critical issues facing the jail population. She holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
More than 500,000 individuals are released from prison each year. As they return to their communities, they face obstacles in finding employment and housing, as well as significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments. Two-thirds of this population are arrested again within three years. St. Leonard’s House in Chicago offers voluntary, supportive housing for men exiting prison. Program clients receive housing, substance abuse treatment, psychological services, life skills, mentoring, and education and vocational services. Authority researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, as well as quasi-experimental design and advanced statistical analysis, to examine outcomes after program participation, including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, and employment.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded several grants to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago to fund Crisis Intervention Training for Youth courses to officers at the Chicago Police Department. The program was the first 40-hour, five-day law enforcement youth crisis intervention training offered in the country.