SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Good government is good (partisan) politics

Thursday, Mar 27, 2014

* This sounds like a pretty interesting idea

The state’s shuttered juvenile prison in Murphysboro could be reopened as a special adult prison for drunk driving offenders under Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget proposal.

The plan, which relies on the General Assembly making the 67 percent income tax increase permanent, could bring jobs to a Southern Illinois facility that Quinn closed less than two years ago.

According to the governor’s budget office, an estimated 2,500 inmates housed throughout the state’s sprawling prison system are serving time for multiple drunk driving offenses.

Moving some of them to the former minimum-security institution for juveniles could ease overcrowding in other facilities and provide them with specialized services designed to help them after release.

“Murphysboro could be re-purposed fairly easily,” said Abdon Pallasch, assistant director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. “This center will help us reduce recidivism and save taxpayer money over time.”

Looks like decent policy to me.

Re-opening the facility also has a political benefit, however. State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is running for Congress. The House Democrats pushed Bill Kilquist through the Democratic primary and have high hopes for his November chances. Creating a few jobs in an area that is so heavily dependent upon state employment probably won’t hurt at all.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    The Quinncome Tax has been in effect long enough for Pat to make this happen now - that is - if the reason he is giving us to prevent it, is true.

    You know, that Tax he said he’s never raise as a candidate, to the level he said would be temporary, but is now asking for it to be permanent.

    Or that he is being honest at all.

  2. - Midstate Indy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Even without the details, the policy side doesn’t sound like a bad concept. The political side definitely helps to shore up local party support.

  3. - A guy... - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Not at all in favor of the tax increase, but the policy may be sound either way. Realizing that many of these DUI offenses come with significant fines, it would seem natural to use them to pay for the incarceration period.

  4. - MrJM - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    “Ease overcrowding in other facilities and provide them with specialized services designed to help them after release.”

    Seems like a win-win.

    – MrJM

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Makes sense to me.

  6. - West Sider - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Every campaign needs early wins, to gain momentum, and as you say Rich, Good government is good politics.
    Hazelton with bars sounds like a winner.

  7. - Jimbo - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Yeah, normal prison time isn’t going to help some folks. When they get out, they still have a drinking problem, few job prospects, and a wealth of criminal knowledge learned in prison. Probably best to focus on treatment and keep the average boozehound away from other criminals while they serve their time.

  8. - Bunkus - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    The Joliet radio station this morning reported that the shuttered Illinois Youth Prison in Joliet was going to receive a $1.5 million “repurposing” project fund. No word yet on what it will be used for.

  9. - Lunchbox - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Sounds like a decent policy move.

  10. - Black Ivy - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    Creating a few prison-related jobs in southern Illinois does not justify making the 67% tax hike permanent, particularly if it benefits Illinois Democrats. The juvenile justice community applauded the closing of the Murphysboro prison. Re-purposing the facility to serve repeated drunk-driving offenders seems a rather costly endeavor for 430 folks. Not a prudent investment in my mind…

  11. - walk in my shoes - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    Hopefully IDOC will remain committed to the purpose of this being used to house DUI offenders. IDOC started a fantastic substance abuse program at Sheridan Correctional Center. A true model and now due to overcrowding in the system Sheridan has received general population inmates that do not require or receive any special treatment programs. If IDOC is going to commit to a program type facility for DUI offenders and/or substance abusers it requires the commitment to only house those offenders and not use extra bed space for offenders who do not need those services. Kudos to IDOC if they can stay committed.

  12. - A modest proposal - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    If I were Rauner my response would be - Pat Quinn has turned his back on Southern Illinois. He is promising that he will institute this new program, but will have less money to do it. It will never come to fruition, it is just another lie by Pat Quinn.

  13. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Well, at least they aren’t reopening it to lock up more juveniles.

    But, a special prison for drunk drivers. I don’t know. I’d like to hear from some national correctional policy experts on that one. Why can’t they be on home release? Is this being done anywhere else in the country, and with what results. And how will this reduce the corrections budget–seems like opening another facility would increase Illinois’ correctional expenses.

    As to Murphysboro’s need for jobs–again, government is not supposed to be a jobs program.
    It’s private sector jobs we are supposed to be

  14. - John Howard Association - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    I’ll stay out of the politics, but I think this is excellent policy. One of the problems with prisons–particularly when they are as crowded and under-resourced as Illinois’ prisons are–is that they end up treating all prisoners the same, regardless of their specific needs or issues. Among other things, this practice can’t do much to help address the specific causes that lead people to re-offend. By focusing the state’s limited resources on the specific needs of a specific group of its population, I’m hopeful that IDOC can develop the capacity to reduce the likelihood that they’ll return to prison. I just hope we can find a way to fund it–and I hope we can find ways to do more things like it in the future.

  15. - SO IL M - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    It is actually a good policy. Nice to see one come from this administration for a change. And as others have said, its good policy no matter if the tax rate stays or not.

  16. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    Should include pot offenders if they don’t fix the criminaliztion of its use.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    == could ease overcrowding in other facilities and provide them with specialized services ===

    It is good to see these problems finally being formally acknowledged. The normal line is usually more like this:

    Our prisons are clearly overcrowded despite spending roughly 98% of our budget on the housing of inmates. The overcrowding problem did not develop over night, nor does it leave much money for additional programs.

    It would be interesting to hear more regarding the rationale behind selecting drunk driving offenders for extra attention and services rather than juvenile drug offenders or others. While this is a good first step, I can’t help but wonder if there might be a better first step for our prison system.

  18. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:22 pm:


    I thought there were other specialized programs in the system. Didn’t they do a drug treatment facility at one of the prisons a few years ago?

  19. - Barney Fife - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Smoking mirrors & election year rhetoric. Three inmate murders at Menard didn’t appear to justify needing to resolve the overcrowding issues but votes take a priority? Save money from closures or open facilities to help with overcrowding, which is it? Doubtful this sways the downstate sentiment PQ!

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    @Demoralized - thanks for mentioning that. Truthfully, I am not sure, but now I am curious and will find out.

    It would be great to discover they tried something like that a few years ago, got positive results, and now have a working template to build off of. That applies whether it means helping drunk drivers, drug addicts or just about anyone else in our system who needs help.

  21. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    Sounds okay to me-don’t know about how much room is available, but non-violent first-offender drug convicts might be a good addition- it is all substance abuse….

  22. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:55 pm:


    Sheridan rings a bell for some reason.

  23. - John Howard Association - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    IDOC has two drug-treatment prisons: Sheridan and Southwestern. Both are very effective.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Bunkus, it will be used for inmates requiring mental health treatment. There was a federal lawsuit.

  25. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    Well, @downstate commissioner, you, me and @Demoralized will just have to sit down and figure this whole mess out.

    We can probably finish overhauling the prison system over coffee, handle the budget deficit over lunch, and then revisit pensions during dessert.

    Oscar can give the final drafts a once-over and then we’ll all call it a day.

    You’re welcome, Illinois. Please @PatQuinn to schedule our parade.

  26. - Cassandra - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Our prisons are overcrowded because we put way too many people in jail, especially young, poor minority men. And because way too many communities depend on these large, dysfunctional institutions for their economic livelihood, making it politically difficult to close them. And because the poor lack access to competent legal services.

    We don’t have to keep people in jail any more because it’s the only place they can get treatment for alcoholism, drug abuse, and psychiatric conditions. The ACA has given all inmates access to Medicaid or subsidized private insurance when they get out. So they should be able to get treated in the community. This is one of the many ways the ACA will profoundly affect medical care in this country, and our state policy makers should be taking advantage of it.
    Not thinking up more ways to institutionalize people because it makes for good political slogans.

  27. - Weighing In - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    In addition to the two designated programs (Sheridan and Southwestern) several other facilities offer drug treatment. The recidivism rate for those who complete treatment is less than half of the general population. Very cost effective. This would be for multiple dui offenders who often times are much different than other drug users. Good idea.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
* So long, Kurt!
* Will "right to work" pop up again?
* A little bit of what's at stake this week
* More poison pills
* Time heals most wounds
* NYT looks at Griffin, Rauner
* LaQuan McDonald case: Three suggestions for state action
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* ES File Explorer Pro removes bloat, unnecessary features
* Samsung patents several new foldable smartphone designs
* ZTE Nubia Z11 to get simultaneous U.S. and China release
* OLED panels for smartphones could be about to get much more affordable
* [Deal] Buy an extended service plan through Straight Talk today to save up to $55
* [Deal] Cricket Wireless Cyber Monday Samsung Galaxy sale
* [Deal] Get the HTC One M9 for 40% off and the Re Camera for 60% off

* Non-tender deadline looks familiar for White Sox
* Detroit Tigers make AL Central's first big splash with Jordan Zimme...
* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Business Groups Plea for Budget Solution in Let.....
* Will “right to work” pop up again? - The Capito.....
* A little bit of what's at stake this week - The.....
* The loophole that unleashed an unprecedented fl.....
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinoi.....

* Cities, counties struggle during Illinois budget mess
* 1st weekend of Illinois firearm deer hunt beats last year
* Police investigate break-ins at 4 Champaign-Urbana hotspots
* Urbana chef taps family members for his kitchen staff
* Chicago police: Man steals van with 2-year-old girl inside
* Man in custody after bodies found in Lake County home
* Report: SAFB considered for new spy agency office since 2005
* Chicago announces expansion of police body-camera program
* No notable delays for holiday travelers at Chicago airports
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinois government

* Cities, counties struggle during Illinois budget mess
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money

* IMF adds China's yuan to basket of top currencies
* Obama's Chicago fundraisers slower to step up for Clinton
* Deere cutting 220 workers in Moline
* I like my old phone just fine, thanks
* Tribune Publishing refutes Murdoch tweet, says not in sale talks

* Cop who shot Laquan McDonald due back in court
* Is Anita Alvarez losing her Hispanic political base?
* Sports Illustrated: Blackhawks whiff on Stadium Series jerseys
* THE WATCHDOGS: How Midway clout king got out of property taxes
* Trump scraps endorsement event after black pastors object
* Chicago Teachers Union plans strike vote on Dec. 9: report
* Obama visits Bataclan, site of French terror attack
* Niklas Hjalmarsson skates swiftly and carries a big stick
* Bears may offer suite life at ground level
* Officials see uptick in historic renovations in Springfield

* Student with gun arrested at Barrington High School
* South Side shooting wounds man
* Tribune Publishing statement: Not in discussions to sell company
* Teen charged with shooting at Fuller Park that killed 3, wounded 2
* Winter overnight parking ban starts Tuesday
* Holiday toll: 8 killed, 20 wounded over Thanksgiving weekend
* Squad car crashes during chase of stolen van with girl, 2, inside
* No injuries when part of building collapses in Back of the Yards
* Skilling: This November one of wettest on record
* U. of C. cancels Monday classes after threat to Hyde Park campus

* James Durkin: Compromise needed to restore Illinois' standing
* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees

* Police seeking Champaign bank robber
* 11-30-15 Monday Morning Quarterbacks
* Thorne tears meniscus
* Illinois assistant leaving
* Chicago police officer who fatally shot teen due in court
* The Latest: Student leader says few details given on threat
* Ford to book $600 million 4th quarter expense for new labor contract
* Kevorkian archive opens as physician-assisted deaths rise
* Calendars show Clinton made time at State for supporters
* Suspect in Colorado clinic shooting to appear in court

* Student in custody after bringing gun to Barrington High School
* Meet the Maine West football player who moonlights as fire dancer
* Dolphins fire offensive coordinator Lazor after loss at Jets
* Thomas Bach: Hamburg bid rejection is 'missed opportunity'
* 'Suspicious activity' puts Barrington High School on hard lockdown

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Pushing for Spending Bill - Alton D......

* Manchin, Kirk introduce bill targeting gov......

* Morning Minute: Pending home sales headed slightly higher in October
* Chicago To Expand Police Body Camera Program
* Advocates Meet With Rauner's Office, Call For Acceptance Of Syrian Refugees
* Report: CTU To Hold December 9 Strike Authorization Vote
* Teen Viral Sensation Says McDonald Shooting Proves Cops, Conservatives Are Racists
* Harris runs to split black vote, defeat Zopp, and position Duckworth against Kirk
* GOP Hindu-American Political Arm Emerges for 2016 Elections
* Lack of Illinois Lottery payouts sending gamblers out of state
* OBrien: Laquan McDonald -- Victim of Liberalism
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller