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Kewanee Juvenile Jail To Reopen as Life Skills Center

A place where troubled teenagers used to study math will become a place where adults will study job skills. After closing last July, the former juvenile jail in Kewanee is ready to open again as Illinois' first Life Skills Re-Entry Center.
Sam Dunklau has more.  


The Illinois Department of Corrections says next week, the re-entry center will start accepting male prisoners who have applied. Eventually, the state will operate three re-entry centers.

Tony Williams, Warden of the Life Skills Reentry Center in Kewanee, IL
Credit submitted / Illinois Dept. of Corrections
Illinois Dept. of Corrections
Tony Williams, Warden of the Life Skills Reentry Center in Kewanee, IL

Kewanee Warden Tony Williams says the goal is to reduce recidivism by helping inmates learn "soft skills," such as budgeting, interviewing, and using a smart phone.

The Corrections Department reports nearly half of all inmates in Illinois return to prison within three years. The Warden, though, refuses to call the Kewanee center a prison.

He and the state have hired about 150 people, including teachers, social workers, and counselors. Next week (2/16), the center will start with a small group of prisoners, but eventually become both home and school for a few hundred. 

I am currently a senior at Augustana College, majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Creative Writing. I serve as the General Manager for WAUG.fm, Augustana's online student radio station and have worked as an intern and DJ at Studstill Media Group. I report on local news for WVIK and am honored and excited to be a part of the news team. I hope to pursue a career in radio broadcasting and an eventual master's degree in English or Communications.
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