Central Blog Update August 2016
The Special Investigations Unit was established 5 years ago this month. We held our first violent repeat offender notification on November 11, 2011 and since then we have "Notified" 110 participants. This program is successful; with the recidivism rate for these individuals being significantly lower than average. I wanted to highlight a few of the success stories we have seen in this unit.
M was notified in our first group. He is a convicted sex offender and had multiple young victims. He went to prison and since release and subsequent notification; he has worked hard to put his past behind him. He started at the bottom and worked his way up in a local Madison company. He is now a supervisor. He attends church regularly and has made many friends that are there to support him. He makes conscious decisions every day to avoid any situations or thoughts that would cause him to be involved in a situation where he may reoffend. Since notification in 2011, he has had no violations or negative contacts with law enforcement. He will be on supervision for life through DOC, but M has told me that he feels that SIU has been a very positive aspect of his life and has helped him make choices to become a positive member of society.
T was notified more recently in 2014. He was incarcerated for most of his adult life, but at 32 years of age he was released from prison and he knew he was going to make something of his life. He welcomed the SIU notification and embraced the opportunities completely. From the beginning T wanted to meet with his agent and his SIU Detective on a weekly basis. He also worked with mentors and community service providers. He was introduced to another SIU participant who was able to get him a job. From there he has worked full time at a local company and held numerous part time jobs to save up money to eventually buy a house. He was able to take classes and get his driver's license. He abstained from personal relationships for a year just to make sure he was working toward his goals, but eventually met someone special and is making a family with her. He met his 11 year old son, developed a relationship with him and eventually brought his son to Madison from another state after learning that he was struggling in that environment. T has participated in every SIU notification since he became part of the program and mentors new participants.
J was also notified in 2014. He made the decision that he was not going to get sucked back into his previous lifestyle after release from prison for a very violent crime. From the beginning J made great strides to become the man he knew he could be. He went back to school. He got a job, and has worked for several local Madison companies. He recently graduated and was the class speaker from a local trade training program and was offered several jobs in his field before graduation.
It has been such complete joy to work with these young men who have shown me that it is truly possible to change if given some motivation and support from the entire community.
Detective Samantha Kellogg