Mark Powers is a senior policy analyst at the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council and previously worked as a research analyst for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. His interests include population projections, corrections, recidivism, applied statistics, and record linkage. He received an M.A. in Criminology from the University of South Florida and B.A.’s in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Illinois.
More than 500,000 individuals are released from prison each year. As they return to their communities, they face obstacles in finding employment and housing, as well as significant debt, outstanding fines, and restitution payments. Two-thirds of this population are arrested again within three years. St. Leonard’s House in Chicago offers voluntary, supportive housing for men exiting prison. Program clients receive housing, substance abuse treatment, psychological services, life skills, mentoring, and education and vocational services. Authority researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, as well as quasi-experimental design and advanced statistical analysis, to examine outcomes after program participation, including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, and employment.