Re-entry’s easier when you have a profession

WSIL: First Illinois inmate to get cosmetology license behind bars leaves Vienna Prison

Almost 50 percent of inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections end up returning to prison within three years of being released, according to state data.

Prison officials say a new program implemented by Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this year could help change that. IDOC now allows inmates to obtain professional licenses while they are still behind bars.

It began in April of this year as a way for offenders to find and keep work after being released. The first inmate in Illinois to complete the program walked out of Vienna Prison Tuesday morning, a free man and licensed cosmetologist.

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