Updates on Illinois Youth Prison Closures

You can be forgiven if you are having a difficult time keeping track of all of the back and forth with respect to the Governor’s recommendations to close two Illinois Youth Prisons: IYC-Joliet and IYC-Murphysboro this fiscal year.

Last week, the Senate passed a budget that would keep IYC-Joliet open while closing only IYC-Murphysboro. Specifically, “SB2404 Amendment 2 (pp.445-453) holds with the Governor’s plan to shutter the IYC in Murphysboro, but not the facility in Joliet.” Legislators gave all the Department of Juvenile Justice general revenue lines a 4% trim, with the notable exception of the general office, which received a huge 80% cut. Overall DJJ takes a 1% cut in funding.

This is only the first budget and the House will now pass a budget & then the two chambers will have to get together on issues, so this is not final.

The Illinois House of Representatives could vote this week to keep both youth prisons open.

Here is the key though as the article in the Herald-Review points out:

Finally, the spending blueprint must be signed by Quinn. He could use his veto power to change the document, which could then leave the future of threatened facilities in limbo until lawmakers reconvene for the fall veto session after the November election. He also could simply refuse to spend the money to keep various facilities open.

This is where we need all of you to help. Please make calls to the Governor and tell him to stick to his recommendations to close BOTH youth prisons. Contact the Governor HERE and tell him that you support his recommendation to close both IYC-Joliet and IYC-Murphysboro. It makes financial and humanitarian sense. Visit our CLOSE ILLINOIS YOUTH PRISONS SITE for more information about these efforts.

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