Possible Solution to Juvenile Crime in IL

LaraThe Southern Illinoisan recently published an article arguing that there is never a time when daily news reports do not include information about crimes, arrests, and people being sentenced to prison.

The article stated that “the cover of Wednesday’s Local section, for example, included coverage about a West Frankfort woman suffering serious burns in a methamphetamine-related fire at her home, drug charges facing a Thompsonville man, car burglaries in Marion and an ATV crash leading to DUI charges against the driver.”

Even more than anecdotal evidence, there are also disheartening statistics.

In the fall of 2012, the Illinois Department of Corrections stated that there were 49,044 adults incarcerated in state penal institutions.  While not an overwhelming percentage of the population, that number far exceeds the 33,700 inmates the correctional facilities were originally designed to hold.

While Illinois police departments may be tough on crime, the hoped-for decrease in crime in general has not been delivered.  Police cannot soften their responses to violent crime; they have a moral duty to examine and carry out proactive efforts to bring an end to the root causes of crime.

An interesting approach to the issue is coming to southern counties through a $15,000 grant awarded to the First Judicial Circuit.  The grant comes from Redeploy Illinois, an initiative started by the Department of Human Services in 2004.  Its existence has yielded promising results in the Second Judicial Circuit.

In a report about the Redeploy grant, one of the authorities who brought the initiative to the Second Judicial Circuit, Jeff Bradley, said the program keeps kids out of prison and saves money.

“It costs nearly $80,000 to confine a single youth for one year,” Bradley said.  Compare this with the $4,000 cost to provide a service to that same youth, and you see a lot of benefits.

Bradley has stated that the program has been beneficial statewide.  “Those kids that go to prison are 72 percent more likely to commit another crime,” whereas the repeat offender rate amongst those who go through a Redeploy program is 17 percent.

In the First Judicial Circuit, the first step will be to determine what services are lacking, perhaps for those in unstable homes, or those suffering from mental illness or substance abuse.  After that, services will be developed using Redeploy grant money.

Juvenile crime is not the only problem facing Illinois.  However, taking care of this issue can save taxpayers up to $80,000 per year.  More money-saving solutions are to follow.

If your child has committed a crime, contact an Illinois criminal lawyer to learn what options are available to you.

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