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Diversion Programs Pinched By Lack Of Illinois Budget

Prisoners outdoors viewed through fence

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to reduce the state's prison population by twenty-five percent in the next 10 years. But the state's budget impasse is putting ex-offenders at greater risk of returning to prison.

  Adult Redeploy Illinois saves taxpayers money by paying local governments to provide services that keep people out of prison. But one county's program has shut down and more may follow.

Latanya Hill ran the now shuttered program in Kane County for defendants with histories of violating their probation. The closure means about fifty offenders may lose mental health treatment after the current provider's contract ends in March. Local officials are covering the cost until then.

"We're left to try and find providers in the community which are being negatively impacted by the budget impasse," she said. For instance, our mental health provider in Kane County, is pretty much taking no new clients."

An Adult Redeploy Illinois report says that state-wide, it has helped more than 1,300 offenders avoid prison since last October. However, six local programs say they don't have the money to accept new participants.

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