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According to a 2-year-study from the Community Training and Resource Center implementing evidence-based programs in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility is helping inmates stay out of jail after they are released.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Sheriff Brad Rogers said that programs in the jail such as the GED program and the “Thinking for a Change” program instead of simply warehousing the inmates, has reduced recidivism to 17 to 26 percent. For the population that did not go through the programs, the rates have stayed at 49 percent recidivism.

Deanne Anadon teaches a G.E.D. class at the Elkhart County Jail in Elkhart County on Wednesday. Anadon has taught G.E.D. classes for 15 years. (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson)

When ex-offenders continue to commit crimes, the community is victimized all over again. Life is less safe. Plus, as taxpayers, we don’t want to have to build more jails. Reducing the recidivism rate by just ONE percent keeps 7 offenders from committing crimes that will send them back to prison.

Rogers says inmates are often cynical when they start the court ordered program but not when they come out.

“What we find is that after they’ve completed the class, most of them are believers in that, ‘Yes, they can make a positive change in their life and a lot of it is just in their thought process.'”

Sheriff Rogers says 2,700 inmates went through the program from 2009 to 2011 and they are excited to get evidence that the programs are really working.

More about Sheriff Brad Rogers:

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