The Exit Program is an organization that helps low-risk ex-offenders transition after leaving jail or prison.
An organization designed to help low-risk homeless ex-offenders get their lives back on track is starting off strongly in Chillicothe. Michele Johnson, director of The Exit Program, said it was established in 2002, but was just introduced in Chillicothe six months ago. Within that time, Johnson said there have been 11 successful discharges of offenders reintegrated into the community.
"They moved onto being able to have their own living arrangements, they're stable, they've been working, they found jobs, they obtained apartments, and they're successfully completing their supervision, so it has worked."
As a whole, Johnson said the program has a 96% success rate and has " ... helped over 400 offenders transition from prison back to the community ... "
According to Johnson, the success rate is determined by those who complete the program, move into a stable living environment, and do not return to jail.
The local Exit Program can house about 20 individuals (both male and female) in its East Second Street residential location; however, all Exit Program facilities are located 1,000 feet away from any school or child care center. Currently, 16 beds are filled in Chillicothe with staff monitoring their activity, which includes chores, going to treatment, and searching for jobs.
Johnson said that the program is not meant to scare the public, but serve as a public safety solution, so communities can be safer places to live, work, and raise families.
"We're not bringing people into their local communities; we're actually managing what's already there."
Funding mainly comes from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. To learn more, log onto theexitprogram.com.
Click here for full interview on The Exit Program