Concerns Surround Gov. Quinn’s Proposed Prison System Cuts – Yahoo! News

Posted: March 4, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Rachel Bogart

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing for major changes to the state’s corrections systems, many of which have resulted in concerns about safety. In his recent proposal, Gov. Quinn suggests reducing Illinois’ $1.2 billion prison system budget by 9 percent through cuts to programs and closures to specific prisons. Critics worry it will increase the workload for parole officers and decrease the opportunities for released convicts to go to school or get drug-abuse treatment, possibly leading them to become repeat offenders.

Here are some statistics and facts about the specific cuts and closures:

* The Illinois Department of Corrections reports it employs close to 11,600 people, all of whom help manage the state’s 49,000 adult inmates and supervise another 26,000 parolees.

* In fiscal year 2010, the rate at which released offenders committed another crime was 51.1 percent, down from 54.4 percent in fiscal year 2003. IDOC lays out an approach to reduce this number: Punishing nonviolent offenders in less expensive community options, expanding rehabilitation programs, and supporting societal reentry methods.

* Overcrowding is a major point of debate since 49,000 inmates are being housed in a corrections system designed to hold only about 33,700, noted the Pantagraph.

* Last month, Gov. Quinn proposed closing down the Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois’ only super maximum-security prison located downstate that houses some of the most violent offenders, noted the Associated Press.

* Due to its rural location, closing Tamms has prompted concern for economic reasons as well, specifically that the prison employees 293 people, many of who are from the town with a population of just over 700.

* Similarly, under the governor’s proposal, the Dwight Correctional Center, a maximum security women’s prison that houses 1,018 inmates at an average annual cost of $33,977 per inmate, would also close, according to CBS News.

* Also slated for possible shutdown are six halfway houses, two juvenile prisons, four mental health institutions, and over 20 other smaller facilities located throughout the state.

* The Huffington Post added that in September, Gov. Quinn proposed closing the Logan Correctional Center by Dec. 31, a proposal that prompted protests in Logan County because of the economic fallout it would have on the surrounding communities.

* In addition to the Logan Correctional Center, which was eventually saved from closure, in September, the governor also proposed shutting down the Jacksonville Developmental Center and five other state facilities, reported the Carmi Times.

* September’s suggested shutdowns would have saved the state $55 million but would have also led to laying off 1,900 state workers.

via Concerns Surround Gov. Quinn’s Proposed Prison System Cuts – Yahoo! News.

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