PEORIA -- The 2nd Annual Summit of Hope is a day-long event aiming to help ex-offenders get their lives back on track.
It was held at the Peoria Civic Center.
Co-Founder Paul Carlson said the goal is to offer these people hope and opportunities.
Several vendors were on hand to help people get I.D. cards, housing healthcare and even register to vote.
He said almost half of prisoners in Illinois end up returning to prison within three years of their release.
As an employee of the Illinois Dept. of Corrections, his motivation for the event stems from his experience. Carlson said, "It's all about public safety. You know, if these folks can't, they can't get a job, they can't get their life straightened out, all they are going to do is end up back in prison and what that does is cost us all money. So instead of taking and draining the taxpayers, we want them to become taxpayers."
Carlson expects more than 1,300 people to attend. He also offers several of these events in other parts of the state.