Updated: Dec 20, 2020
By Jake Rogers Sadly, our community is in desperate need. Rockford has the 6th highest crime rate nationally. Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Illinois is 1 in 229 BUT IN ROCKFORD IT’S 1 IN 59!!
It’s time to reclaim our city! JJM is a relational ministry to teens in tough places, in strategic partnership with Rockford Reachout Jail Ministries. We meet juveniles inside the JDC (Winn. Co. Juvenile Detention Center). Our plan includes meeting high-risk youth right where they are, getting to know them, building relationships, and earning the right to speak into their lives. We are committed to investing in long-term relationships with these young men and women as they return home to our community. We walk alongside them in mentoring relationships and provide support and encouragement, as loving, compassionate, positive, healthy adults. This is something many of them have never experienced before.
According to a national study, after 48 months removed from incarceration, youth in a mentoring program, who completed all their requirements, had a recidivism rate of 28%, compared to 62% for those not in a program. The value of a robust outreach, centered on mentoring, is undeniable. While in lockup youth often have well-intended plans for doing things differently once they return home, but most often they lack the support and knowledge necessary for the successful application of what they have learned. This can be seen in the recidivism rates. Sixty percent of youth released from an IDJJ (Illinois Department Juvenile Justice) facility were re-arrested within 1 year; within 5 years, 91% had re-offended. JJM seeks to help youth effectively bridge this gap between the well-intended plans during lock-up and real-life application. This is accomplished through a commitment to invest in long-term relationships as they transition back into our community.
JJM is a core ministry of National Youth for Christ that has over 70 years of experience reaching out to at-risk youth, including more than 50 years directly targeting incarcerated youth. Currently, JJM is active in more than 200 juvenile facilities nationwide.
This is an opportunity to impact, not only the lives of individual teens, but to support the rebuilding of our community. It’s an investment in the next generation, a generation that is falling into patterns of destruction far too young.