Located in Building 3 at 3206 South California Avenue in Chicago, the Cook County Sheriff’s Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center or V.R.I.C. is designed to provide court-ordered offenders a 180-day strict detention program based on basic discipline, educational skills, counseling and alcohol/substance abuse treatment. Many inmates are ultimately selected to take part in the sheriff’s new Neighborhood Restoration Initiative. Industry and OSHA trained staff instruct the inmates on deconstruction techniques and proper safety protocols. VRIC detainees then use these new skills to deconstruct abandoned homes in Cook County’s distressed communities. This instruction, combined with field coursework, will provide our graduates with skills that can serve them to obtain employment.
The V.R.I.C. also features a 240-day post-release supervision program where participants receive follow on counseling and preparation in job skills and placement. All post release participants are on electronic monitoring for the entire eight months and are drug tested at least twice a month. This provides a strong monitoring of the participants not only when they report but when they are in the community. Sentencing judges are informed of all test failures and reporting violations. If a participant is not enrolled in school or partaking in verified employment, they report to the VRIC facility and are assigned to a work crew with the Sheriff’s Support Services. All of these measures are designed to keep our participants active and inspired to return to their communities as a productive member of society.
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