ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Growing a vegetable and herb garden, working on general education diplomas, resume writing and interviewing and recovering from substance abuse are among activities and programs Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain started this year at the jail.
The items are listed in his “Impact Report” to the Judicial/Public Safety Committee Sept. 12.
Forty-nine program participants have been released from jail with the hope that they do not return, Hain said.
“We are building in our case management team so we can keep track of them – with their consent,” Hain said. “We can see if their work is OK, if they need any support, in hopes they don’t come back. These are people in our community who have never had any opportunities provided to them. Now that they are with us, we can provide them with more structure and support.”
Fifty-four inmates are in the Lighthouse Recovery Program for medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction, Hain said.
“This is the first county jail in the state to have a proactive, medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction using the medication Suboxone,” Hain said. “We began working on this in December and it launched March 29.”
Twenty inmates participate in a yoga program, which is put on by the PiEproject Foundation, Hain said.
The PiEproject is a nonprofit that uses yoga to impact the way people connect to themselves and others, according to its website, www.thepieproject.org.
“The whole focus is providing yoga to low-income and incarcerated people as a healthy outlet,” Hain said. “It goes every Wednesday night at the jail. It’s open to anybody.”
The My Moments Art class is a photography class, Hain said, where an art instructor directs participants on an iPad.
“They download a picture they like, and the teacher shows them how to alter for mood and effect, contrast or brightness,” Hain said. “They all attach phrases or quotes to them.”
The photo art program is in conjunction with a T-shirt press program, where inmates who created the art can press them onto T-shirts, Hain said.
The shirts will be debuted at the volunteer appreciation dinner Sept. 26 and eventually be available for sale through an online store that helps support inmate programs, Hain said.
Four interns from Aurora University and one from Judson University are providing additional structure for inmates, Hain said, as they are teaching Moral Recognition Therapy.
“We have an inmate population who have not had any opportunity, structure or guidance, or have had limited or no parenting throughout life,” Hain said.
In its simplest terms, this program teaches them how to be have as responsible adults in the community, Hain said.
Among the programs and participation Hain listed in his report are:
• 4 hiring events
• 87 people referred to employers
• 67 referred to a staffing agency
• 23 returned to a previous employer
• 31 have become employed
• 4 accepted by staffing agencies
• 63 in learning resume writing and job interviewing skills
• 47 in an entrepreneurship program with completed business plans
• 60 in one of two addiction recovery programs
• 79 in one of two life skills programs
• 17 in an art class
• 4 painted a mural
• 62 heard a motivational speaker who himself had once been in prison
• 32 took forklift training and completed certification
• 9 completed a manufacturers career internship program
• 6 took painters union training
• 20 took yoga
• 5 learned to plant a garden
• 12 studied financial literacy
• 25 started a general education diploma program
• 2 completed a general education diploma program
• 10 participate in a photography art program
• 35 participate in parent training from Changing Children’s Worlds
• 58 new volunteers were trained