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Local

Out of jail; into the work force

OTTAWA — Gov. Pat Quinn announced 31 Illinois counties will receive a total of nearly $7 million to divert non-violent offenders from prison into more effective community-based services. The investments are through Adult Redeploy Illinois, a proven, successful program aimed at reducing crime and improving public safety.

“Community-based programs are more cost-effective and produce better results in rehabilitating non-violent offenders,” Quinn said. “Everyone benefits when we can help offenders turn their lives around and become productive members of society without filling up our prisons.”

Adult Redeploy Illinois will award 18 grants covering 34 counties, including LaSalle County, where the 13th Judicial Circuit Probation and Court Services will receive $281,263.

“What we are targeting is Class 3 and Class 4 felons who would otherwise be sentenced to the Department of Corrections,” said William Pfalzgraf, director of Court Services for LaSalle County. “These people are will be in jail locally, but when it comes time for their sentencing, instead of the Department of Corrections, they’re going to be placed on intensive probation supervision.

“What our grant is paying for primarily is two new probation officers, and they will be out in the evenings and weekends checking people. The participants are going to be much heavier supervised,” Pfalzgraf said. “Each person will be examined individually to determine if they’re high-risk for flight. If so, some might qualify for electronic monitoring.”

Adult Redeploy Illinois is administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) and provides financial incentives to counties or judicial circuits to create or expand diversion programs that employ evidence-based practices and encourage the successful local supervision of eligible offenders. The results are better outcomes for offenders which improves public safety at a lower cost to taxpayers.

Since 2011, Adult Redeploy Illinois sites have diverted more than 1,000 non-violent offenders. In 2012, these sites spent an average of $4,400 per program participant, compared to the annual per capita incarceration cost of $21,500 in state fiscal year 2011. This represents more than $17 million in potential corrections savings.

Locally-designed ARI programs offer offenders a chance to avoid prison by committing to intensive supervision and services, including cognitive behavioral and trauma-informed therapy, and problem-solving drug, mental health and veterans’ courts. Awarded jurisdictions must agree to reduce by 25 percent the number of commitments to the Illinois Department of Corrections from a defined target population of prison-bound, non-violent offenders. To date, all fully implemented Adult Redeploy Illinois sites have met or exceeded their diversion goals.

For more information on ICJIA, visit icjia.state.il.us/. For more information on Adult Redeploy Illinois, visit icjia.state.il.us/public/redeploy/.

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