The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Helping Ex-Inmates Who Move To 46th Ward Could Reduce Recidivism, Ald. Says

By Josh McGhee | February 27, 2017 6:12am
 The 46th Ward has been a destination for those released from prison, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said.
The 46th Ward has been a destination for those released from prison, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — Ald. James Cappleman (46th) introduced a resolution in the City Council calling for the city and state to work together to reduce prison recidivism.

The 46th Ward, which includes portions of Uptown and Lakeview, has been a destination for those released from prison, he said in a newsletter sent to the ward last week.

"We have people who are released from jail who may have a history of hundreds of arrests. They are released sometimes at 2 in the morning with no money on them, no access to psychiatric medications, no support system, no support system, no place to live and no job," Cappleman said in an interview. "We set them up to fail and they keep getting arrested over and over again."

While the state, city and county have all worked separately to reduce recidivism, working together could better fight the tendency of recently released inmates to resort to crime after they go free.

"We’ve never used an approach where all three are working together — coordinating their work and collaborating with one another," Cappleman said.

That Cook County Jail houses more people with mental illness than any other institution in the United States is "unacceptable," he said in the newsletter.

While the resolution is still in the preliminary planning process and must be discussed with the City's Public Safety Committee, the first substantial step is starting a task force, he said.

"We want to incorporate some of the ideas that have already been brought [to the table] and see how we can work together so we can start implementing them," Cappleman said, adding its also important to track the progress.

"It's not good enough just to do interventions. We want to make sure we measure those interventions to ensure they are producing real results in reducing recidivism," he said.

Cappleman has already received some support from Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-Chicago), Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) and Ald. Ariel Rebroyas (30th), he said.