Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Social Workers Receive William H Morgan Award

Kankakee, IL- Earlier this morning, the Kankakee County Mental Health Council presented the William H. Morgan Annual Memorial Award to the Kankakee County Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program for the recognition of expanding mental health services in Kankakee County.

“The Kankakee County Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMH) provide services for individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system who have a mental illness/co-occurring disorder (MI/COD). I commend the efforts of our dedicated Reentry workers to break the cycle and common misconceptions by converting their students into pro-active citizens who positively contribute to society,” said Undersheriff Mike Downey.  “The JMH program is federally funded through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).”

ReEntry“Due to the lack of mental health institutions in Illinois, there are rising numbers of individuals coming through the local criminal justice system who have a mental illness/substance abuse disorder, the Kankakee County Renewed Opportunity (non-profit organization) and the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office worked together to finalize and implement a program that works to empower and advocate individuals as they strive to accomplish their goals. JMH provides wrap-around services for clients in order to maximize their chances of successful reintegration into the community and ultimately reduce recidivism rates within the county of Kankakee,” explained Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski.

In addition, the JMH Program was provided funding to facilitate a program called “Thinking for a Change” (T4C). T4C curriculum is a problem solving program embellished by both cognitive restructuring and social skills intervention. While each of the concepts are presented systematically, the participant quickly learns and appreciates that cognitive restructuring does require some cognitive skills methods, as does cognitive skills require an objective, systematic approach to identifying individuals thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs.

By the end of 2015, the JMH Program will also facilitate a new class for those who are incarcerated called “Living on the Outside,” which is a resource handbook that assists individuals to better prepare themselves for the outside.  The class includes, but is not limited to, preparing for a job, housing options, health, and other services to assist them when they are released.


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