By Shibani Mahtani
When Harold Boone was released last month from Cook County jail after a weeklong stay on a misdemeanor charge, he didn’t know if he was going to have an apartment to return to.
“I was thinking, here we go again, I had no idea where my help would come from or what I’d do,” said Mr. Boone, 56 years old.
He filled out a survey, he said, and was offered the option of a night’s stay at the Supportive Release Center, a new facility fashioned out of a mobile home near the jail. It connects newly released inmates considered high risk—such as those facing homelessness, mental health issues or drug addiction—with social services while they plan their next steps.
“I took a shower in peace, that was great, and then they gave me brand new clothes and a hot meal,” he said. He ended up staying the night, playing cards with social workers until the early hours of the morning as he discussed his postrelease plans, which included going back to school for his college degree.
Mr. Boone and dozens of others credit the new facility, which opened June 5, with helping them get through the first days after their release from jail, when they are at highest risk of recidivism.