News

“Summit of Hope” Connects Ex-Offenders With Jobs, Services

“Summit of Hope” Connects Ex-Offenders With Jobs, Services

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

An Illinois Department of Corrections program, Summit of Hope, aims to keep former offenders out of prison for good.

The statewide series of events, which included a stop Tuesday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, connects programs, services, and potential jobs with ex-offenders – or, as they are sometimes called, “returning citizens.”

“What I tell employers is, why are you always in the want ads?” asks Lorenzo Louden, a convicted murderer who has been out of prison for about two decades. He now assists IDOC on a contractual basis while running his own business and running a Christian organization called Tower of Refuge in Springfield.

“You don’t hire ex-offenders,” Louden says he tells skittish employers who would say it’s hard to find good people. “How can you put them in that category if you’ve never tried them?”

A corrections spokesman says the Summit of Hope helped 16,000 people last year.

Recent Headlines

15 hours ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Mother’s Day,’ Key & Peele comedy ‘Keanu’ hit theaters

22-overlay-9

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

15 hours ago in Entertainment

WHAT’S ON: New on Netflix, Amazon & Hulu this May

netflixAP

It's going to be a great weekend for some binge-watching.

17 hours ago in Entertainment

Alicia Vikander to play Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot

vikanderREUTERS

The Swedish Oscar winner follows in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie to play the famed adventurer.