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State’s attorney seeks funds for 2 new employees

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon hopes next year to increase his office's staffing levels by two, even as county leaders are asking departments to help reduce a potential $2 million deficit.

In his monthly meeting with reporters Tuesday, McMahon explained the need for two new employees – an assistant state's attorney assigned to the civil division and a bilingual investigator for the Child Advocacy Center.

The added positions were part of a nearly $9.2 million 2015 budget the state's attorney's office presented to a County Board committee last month.

Since then, the County Board has asked the state's attorney's office and other county offices and departments to review their initial budget requests in light of a potential $2 million deficit.

McMahon said his office is in the process of doing that.

"We're going to do our best," he said, noting he hasn't been directed to make specific cuts.

The proposed added positions would address an increased need for services, McMahon said. According to his office's presentation last month, the Child Advocacy Center conducted 380 Spanish-speaking interviews in 2012 and 540 in 2013.

If approved, the bilingual investigator would be the second on staff, McMahon said.

The other new hire's primary responsibilities would be tied to the Kane County Treatment Alternative Court, a court-supervised mental health treatment program for eligible criminal defendants.

McMahon wouldn't estimate the percentage of people in the criminal justice system with mental health issues, but he said there is a high correlation between the two. Mental health issues could be contributing factors in their criminal behavior, he said.

Alternative programs such as the Treatment Alternative Court, rehabilitation court and diversion programs contribute to reduced crime rates, McMahon said.

A 2015 budget review for the state's attorney's office, among others, is planned for Friday's Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting.

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