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Columbus, OH, United States, 2007/04/19 - Alvis House has played a critical role in breaking the cycle of crime for 40 years. The agency has worked with thousands of offenders to prepare them to Open Doors and Rebuild Lives - the theme of the 40th Anniversary Celebration.
The need for reentry services provided by Alvis House in Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Chillicothe has never been greater. The number of people incarcerated in Ohio increased by 250% just from 1980 to 1997. In 2006, Ohioans spent more than $1.5 billion on incarceration. The state’s prison population has already reached an all time high and projections show an increase of 5.6% by the end of Fiscal Year 2008.
Nearly 95% of all incarcerated offenders will return to the community. Ohio releases an average of 73 offenders a day. A large number of newly released offenders do not have housing, jobs, or support systems, and many remain affected by substance abuse, health and mental health problems. These are all enormous risk factors in the likelihood these individuals will commit a new crime. “During those critical early months, a reentry program can make the difference between returning to the community and returning to prison,” said Denise M. Robinson, president and CEO of Alvis House.
Another important concern is the impact of an individual’s incarceration on families. For many families, it means the loss of the primary wage earner and the loss of a parent. And incarceration of a parent leads to a vicious cycle: children of offenders are five times more likely than their peers to end up in prison themselves. Alvis House operates both an adult and youth family-focused reentry program and provides family support programs to help participants to work on issues surrounding an individual’s incarceration.
Participation in Alvis House and other community corrections, reentry and halfway house programs has been demonstrated to substantially reduce the rate of recidivism. These programs provide time for individuals in transition to orient back to the community, receive counseling services, reunify with their families, and obtain housing and employment.
In addition to the Attorney General’s keynote address, the program included remarks from House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty; Senate Minority Whip Ray Miller; Sen. Steve Stivers and Rep. John Schlichter. Janet Jackson, United Way President; Dir. Terry Collins, ODRC; and Dr. Reginald Wilkinson, Ohio College Access Network President, also spoke.
Alvis House is a nonprofit human services agency that provides reentry and transitional assistance to individuals and families who have been affected by incarceration. The agency provides education, treatment, life skills, and other research-based programs that help clients to rebuild their lives, strengthen their families and become contributing members of the community. This year, Alvis House will serve more than 3,000 men, women, young adults and children in 24 programs at 11 locations in Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Chillicothe.