Suits for Success helping parolees get back on their feet

Posted:

(WAND) - Getting out of prison can be a jarring experience, especially when it comes to finding employment. One organization is helping parolees across the state find employment by providing them with professional clothing.

 What started as William Denwood trying to establish bible study in prisons, turned in to something much larger.

“Slowly we expanded and expanded, and we are now in all 33 prisons,” says William Denwood the founded and creator of Suits for Success.  “They have 45,000 inmates, and what we are trying to do with the clothes is give them suitable clothes for interviewing purposes.”

Suits for success takes professional clothing to all the prisons in Illinois, in hopes to help parolees find jobs and stay out of prison.

“It's a small niche that we are doing,” added William.  “But, it does have an impact in getting these men and women jobs."

All the clothing is donated, and so is the time of seven dry cleaners across the state.

"You can donate and drop off your old clothes, and we will clean and press them up," says Kevin Buskirk owner of Country Squire Cleaners in Champaign.

While there are seven dry cleaners in total that donate their services to Suits for Success, Kevin’s business is the only one in central Illinois,

"If this is a way that they might be able to get a job, stay out of prison and be good citizens for the community; then I think that’s a good thing," added Kevin.

While the program is helpful for parolees, William says it is also helpful to the economy.

"This makes sense economically if you stop and think about it,”’ says William. “It makes good sense for the parolee, because they get a job and they get back in community. In turn they start paying taxes and taking from the state coffers. It makes sense for the prisons, because it reduces the population. We can save tax payers $15 million per year by getting one percent of the inmates or parolees not going back in to prison."

With just five volunteers taking the clothing to all 33 prisons in the state; the organization has donated over 11,000 garments to parolees across Illinois.

"It's gives them their pride back, and enables them to get a job, added William.  “It's one thing to go to an interview in a sweatshirt, and it is quite another to go there in a suit or some sport coat and dress slacks.”

Reducing the recidivism of former criminals and changing their lives; one piece of clothing at a time.

Dress for success is always looking for more volunteers to help take clothes to prisons across the state, as well as dry cleaners that are willing to donate their services. For more information on how to get involved you get visit Suits for Successes’ website.

If you would like to donate clothing to the cause locally, you can drop clothing off at Country Squire Cleaners in Champaign which is located at 1805 West Springfield Avenue.

Current Conditions
/
  • Most Popular Stories

    • New state program will deduct from paychecks to pay for retirement

      SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A new state program will automatically deduct money from the paychecks of about 1.2 million Illinois residents for retirement savings. 

    • Chicago officer involved shooting incites riots

      An officer involved shooting in Chicago has sparked outrage on the Southside

    • Cashier calls police on black customer for using coupon

      CHICAGO (AP) - CVS Health is apologizing after a black customer says a white store manager in Chicago accused her of trying to use a phony coupon.
        

    • Police investigating hit and run motorcycle crash

      DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Decatur Police are investigating a hit and run motorcycle crash. 

    • Ink Master Cleen Rock One taking walk-ins at Oakwood Tattoo

      DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - A Decatur tattoo shop is hosting a Las Vegas tattoo artist who has been featured on a television series Monday.

    • UofI student accused of aiming pellet gun at police in custody

      URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A University of Illinois student is in jail after police say he pointed a pellet gun at them, causing them to shoot him last week.

    • Police officer and bystander shot and killed in incident

      WEYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander have died from wounds sustained when a suspect allegedly took the officer’s gun and fired following a vehicle crash and a foot chase. 

    • Former Blackhawks Goaltender Ray Emery Dies in Drowning Incident

      Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery has died in a drowning accident in Canada, authorities confirmed Sunday.

    • The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your

    • Eagle Scout Project in Danville

      DANVILLE, Ill. (WAND)- A Boy Scout with Troop 234 in Westville had to come up with a project for his Eagle Scout rank. He decided to base his project on making landscaping updates at the Homeless Veterans' housing complex, Cannon Place, at the Danville Va. He says he heard about the lack of activities at the VA and decided to do something about it. Through the help, suggestions, and guidance of his family, Donnie proposed his plan to his Boy Scout members and took action. His father...