Letter: Why should Illinois waste tax dollars?
To the Editor:
With Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois AFSCME – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – locked in a protracted lawsuit over the governor's intention to close state prisons, the public debate often focuses on overcrowding in the state’s adult prison system.
But the situation in the state's eight juvenile prisons is vastly different. The eight juvenile prisons have a bed capacity of 1,754 youth and a population below 1,000. This low juvenile population, which has declined by more than 200 since Quinn took office, is due in large part to the successes of less costly, more effective community-based services like mental health care, substance abuse treatment and family-focused support.
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