The Cook County Offender Reentry Program (CCORP) aims to link, over five years, 475 women offenders/ex-offenders with substance use disorder (SUD) or SUD with co-occurring mental health disorders returning from the Logan Correction Center, Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), to Cook County to community-based SUD treatment and reentry-related services in an effort to help them successfully reenter into the community. In addition to disproportionately experiencing SUD, women offenders/ex-offenders have additional considerations that their male counterparts often do not face, such as parental needs, job and employment training, and past trauma. There are currently 1,780 women prisoners, and 299 with an SUD, 68% have a severe SUD disorder, who will return to Cook County. 68% of IDOC women returning to Cook County are African American, 15% White, 13% Hispanic, 0.5% America Indian and Alaskan Native, 1% Asian, 2% Bi-racial . Nearly 35% of Cook County residents speak a language other than English at home, and 21% are foreign born. IDOC does not currently house any transgender prisoners in the female facilities, and 4% of Chicago adults identify as gay or lesbian.
The CCORP has three main goals: (1) strengthen the existing infrastructure within Cook County responsible for coordinating, developing, and supporting SUD treatment, reentry-related services, and linkages to care and services for offenders/ex-offenders, (2) reduce substance use among adult female offenders with SUD who are reentering Cook County from IDOC by enrolling and linking them to community-based SUD and mental health treatment, and (3) reduce recidivism among the CCORP participants through the provisions of evidence-based practices, and supportive services that address social determinants of health. To achieve these goals, we will foster partnerships among CCHHS, IDOC, Haymarket Center, and other stakeholders, creating a steering committee to guide the CCORP, identify infrastructural needs, and develop and implement a plan to address those needs. In addition, CCORP will fund evidence-based practices and wraparound services, and provide a case manager in the IDOC facility to ensure that those reentering have an individualized plan to help them access and link to care and services. The program will include evidence-based practices such as Moral Reconation Therapy, Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model, Recovery Management Check-Ups, Medication Assisted Treatment, and wraparound services such as transportation and job training that address social determinants of health. We hope to serve 475 individuals throughout the lifetime of the project (75 in year 1, 100 per year in years 2 to 5) to treat their SUD and help them reintegrate, ultimately reducing substance use and recidivism. Through evaluation and data collection, CCORP will implement any necessary changes to ensure quality throughout the program, and at the close of the program, discuss best practices and strategies to ensure sustainability. With CCORP, we hope to address SUD and other needs among women offenders/ex-offenders who face disparities and multiple challenges to help them successfully reenter the community.