Hundreds of ex-prisoners seek help in Austin

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The hope for a second chance brings hundreds of people each year to the Westside Health Authority’s Prisoner Re-Entry Center.

No other neighborhood in Illinois attracts as many recently released prisoners than Austin.

The ex-offenders face daunting challenges, including re-connecting with families, finding housing and getting a job. The center, which placed an estimated 1,400 ex-offenders in employment last year, faces challenges itself due to budget cuts.

“We are doing the best we can with the limited resources that we have,” said program director Roger Ehmen.

To see the first of our two-part series, produced earlier this year by journalist Wendy Wohlfeill, click here.

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