The already enviable record of many things touched by the change agents at Kinexus of Benton Harbor just ratcheted up a notch thanks to a record year in job placement outcomes for their remarkable Offender Success program. That program to help assimilate re-entry following prison time now boasts the highest placement rate in the state of Michigan...beating the statewide average by fully 20-percent themselves.
The team at Kinexus has served 1,100 returning citizens across more than two dozen cities in Michigan and delivered a 61-percent region wide placement rate for the highest achievement in the state.
The Offender Success program in Southwest Michigan focuses on keeping local communities safer through coordinated support and supervision for individuals returning home from prison. In addition, the program delivers a number of services including residential stability, health and behavioral health, social support, and employment services.
According to Todd Gustafson, CEO at Kinexus, “These results are even more impactful given the statewide placement rate for this demographic. Kinexus recently increased its footprint to seven counties based on previous excellent performance. With a 61-percent job placement rate, the Offender Success model is proving to be one that works.”
Kinexus has been running the Offender Success program, previously known as prisoner reentry, since 2006. According to Council of State Governments/Justice Center, Michigan has had the second largest decrease in return to prison rates nationwide. Michigan as a state holds a recidivism rate of 28.1-percent, the lowest in its history since tracking the three year data. Additionally, Michigan has one of the top ten lowest rates in the country. In Kinexus’ first year administering Offender Success region wide, the program held a recidivism rate of under 5-percent.
The crew at Kinexus credits its extensive partnership network for its record-breaking year. The organization partners with the Michigan Department of Corrections, Mental and Behavioral Health course providers, area businesses and community organizations to deliver services for returning citizens.
Derek Knuth is the Director of Offender Services for Kinexus. He says, “Kinexus is an effective partner with the Michigan Department of Corrections as we prepare returning citizens for the next chapter of their lives, providing them with the skills and support that they need to be competitive in today’s workforce.” He adds, “95-percent of incarcerated individuals will be returning to the community – it is our objective that every returning citizen will have the tools needed to succeed.”
Kinexus is an organization that invests its time and resources into creating integrated solutions for business, workforce, and community challenges to promote economic vitality in the region of Michigan's Great Southwest. For more information, you can visit online at www.Kinexus.org, follow along on Twitter @KinexusGroup or “like” them on Facebook @KinexusGroup.