The Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council recently received a nearly $650,000 federal grant to provide transition services to individuals living in halfway houses after serving prison sentences.
The three-year program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to assist 100 to 150 male offenders with co-occurring disorders, such as addiction or mental health illness, in an effort to reduce the county’s recidivism rate of 22.6 percent.
The University of Toledo will receive $77,081 of that funding to serve as an outside investigator to assess the results of the program.
“Every program funded by a federal grant is required to be evaluated for its success,” said Dr. John Laux, professor of counselor education and associate dean for student affairs in the College of Health and Human Services, who will be the program evaluator. “We will serve as a neutral observer of their program methods. Our job is to measure effectiveness of the program in an effort to determine its effectiveness.”
The funding UT receives will support two graduate students in the counselor education program with tuition and a stipend for research related to the evaluation of the program.
“The students selected to assist with the research affiliated with this program will have a unique opportunity to learn more about the populations they will someday serve,” Laux said. “It also can open the door of opportunity leading to future PhD studies in the field.”
Laux said it is a unique way the University can serve the community.
“Our department is proud to partner with the county to support them in their efforts as they work to help former inmates overcome obstacles that can lead to recidivism,” he said.