How To Help Inmates - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

How To Help Inmates

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A suspect Moline PD were looking for, is now behind bars. 

25 year old Jalissa March escaped a police barricade on Tuesday, when police were going to arrest her for her role in a string of shop lifting hits. 

Police believe she was the get away car for 3 female juveniles inside Southpark Mall.

But March didn't go quietly.

She rammed a Moline PD cruiser, a knocked an officer to the ground, before making her getaway. 

Now, she is behind bars in the Scott County Jail, facing four felony charges, after being caught in Davenport late Wednesday night.

That isn't her first trip there.

She has been arrested dozens of other times in Rock Island and Scott Counties. 

But how can that cycle of incarceration be broken?

At the Scott County Jail, they are trying to answer just that.

"People that have been in jail before tend to come back more often, with new arrests," says Paul Elias, Program Coordinator at Scott County Jail. "We pay a lot of money to house people in jail and we don't want people coming back."

Starting in 2009, Elias and others at the jail started noticing a trend: Without help, a majority of convicts wind up back in jail, quickly.

So, the jail started offering over 60 programs to help inmates better their lives, while on the inside.

Things like AA, parenting classes, and getting an education. 

Elias says the results since beginning these programs have been staggering. 

After going through the programs the jail has to offer, 41% of female convicts will return to jail. 

That number shoots up to 86% if inmates don't participate. 

For males, 32% return after participating.

That goes up to 80% of inmates who don't participate. 

And Elias says that's progress.

"We find that if they don't revisit in three years, that's pretty good," he explains. 

For now, he says he just wants to continue to see progress, with fewer people returning to prison. 

But, he says it's eventually up to offenders to make a change in their life, no matter what programs are offered. 

As Elias says, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

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