News

Kane Sheriff to present new path to justice reform in March 9 program

Hain’s 3-year effort reduces crime, recidivism, jailhouse population

ST. CHARLES – Over three years ago, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and his team set out to create an environment in the Kane County Adult Corrections Center that returned citizens to the community with support, opportunity and continued treatment, the sheriff announced in a news release.

From 6 to 7 p.m. on March 9, Hain, Lighthouse Recovery’s Nate Lanthrum, a current and a former jail resident will be presenting these results and a new pathway for true justice reform at the Hemmens Cultural Arts Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin.

The program is free. Those interested can register at www.eventbrite.com.

Basic statics showed that 95% of all jail residents eventually return to the community. Of those, 85% within five years or less after initial incarceration and 74% of those in custody that are addicted to opioids overdose and die shortly after release if left untreated while in custody.

Hain knew that public safety is directly affected by what we do or do not do in the jail to reform those in custody, the release stated.

Administrative Director Judy Dawson was brought on board to implement vocational training and job placement programs, and Lighthouse Recovery in St. Charles was contracted to launch intensive addiction treatment within the jail and to provide a holistic exit program.

After monitoring and collecting three years of data, the efforts put forth have shown these results:

• Jail violence is reduced by 35% each year

• Opioid overdose deaths reduced by 89% of returning citizens that received treatment – with zero deaths in 2021

• Brought down a six-year average recidivism rate to 18% from 49%

• The jail population went to its current average of 325, down from 515

• Countywide crime is down 16%

• A new electronic home monitoring program saved taxpayers nearly $5 million

On the topic of racial equality in the justice system, when Hain took office the Black population inside the jail made up 46% of those in custody, while the Black population in the community was 6%, the release stated.

Through various exit programs for the non-violent, the current jail’s Black population was reduced to 36% of the total.

“This shows we still have a long way to go in reducing the number of marginalized citizens that become justice-involved, but our mission has dramatically improved relationships between law enforcement and minority communities in Kane,” Hain stated in the release.