* The Department of Corrections has filed its required report (click here) with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability on its proposed facility closure plan. Gov. Pat Quinn, you will undoubtedly recall, wants to close the Logan Correctional Facility. It’s pretty grim…
Closing the Logan Correctional Center eventually will force Illinois’ jam-packed prison system to house 1,500 inmates in prison gymnasiums around the state, the Department of Corrections said in recently filed documents.
Also, up to 180 inmates from the medium-security prison at Lincoln would be transferred to the super-maximum-security prison in Tamms. […]
“I’ve read closure documents before, but none so outrageous and irresponsible as the Logan prison plan,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall. […]
The Corrections document said 1,980 inmates are housed at Logan. It said 300-350 inmates will be moved to health care units and segregation units at other prisons. The move will use up nearly all of the state’s beds in health and segregation units, the department said. […]
In the document, Corrections said that “while IDOC is prepared to face the challenges of providing mandated services in a less than ideal situation, an increased risk of legal exposure is an evident possibility. To assist in confronting these challenges, IDOC will be required to increase employee headcount at the facilities that will receive the additional inmate population.”
The problem for IDOC is that the prison system is at historic capacity right now. There’s literally no place to put these people.
* And then there’s the ripple effect of closing facilities throughout Downstate…
At a time when Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing to lower the unemployment rate and boost investment in Illinois, the Chicago Democrat’s plan to shutter seven facilities as part of his budget fight with lawmakers will cost the state more than 2,600 jobs, according to figures compiled Tuesday.
Economic impact surveys show the governor’s proposal to shut down a prison, mental health centers and other state facilities in downstate communities like Lincoln, Murphysboro, Chester and Dixon will essentially strip $295.8 million out of the Illinois economy.
The surveys, conducted for the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, show that laying off 1,924 employees at the facilities will have a ripple effect on local businesses, resulting in an additional 738 people losing private sector jobs.
In Logan County, for example, laying off 356 people from the medium-security Logan Correctional Center will result in the loss of 104 other jobs in the area, causing a net $73 million blow to the local economy, the survey noted. Retail sales, hotels and restaurants are among the hardest hit sectors. Similar loss projections are outlined in reports dealing with the other facilities.
* Illinois Statehouse News has done a good job compiling all the data. From its story…
Closing the Singer Mental Health Center would require local community care providers in Rockford to care for the 845 people usually treated at Singer.
But state Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, said that may not happen.
“I am extremely concerned that this will send people to hospitals or out (on) the street. A lot of these community providers do have group homes, but there is not enough room,” Bellock said. […]
The mental health center at Tinley Park is one of the state’s busiest, handling nearly 1,900 people a year. Those people would be sent to community care providers and local hospitals.
Bellock said community care providers in Cook County are overwhelmed and she fears the worst if a plan to transition people out of Tinley Park slowly is not available.
“For a local community to step up and pay for this kind of care, that would be impossible,” said Bellock.
* And AFSCME sent out a press release yesterday condemning COGFA for moving too fast…
The largest union representing frontline state employees is calling for greater openness and public accountability by a panel of lawmakers charged with overseeing Governor Pat Quinn’s proposal to close three psychiatric hospitals, two centers for individuals with profound developmental disabilities, a prison and a juvenile detention center.
In a letter to the senators and representatives that serve on the Commission for Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer wrote:
“[T]he Administration is intent on implementing these closures as quickly as possible with as little public scrutiny as possible. Unfortunately, it appears that COGFA is prepared to collaborate in this effort to stifle public review and input rather than seeking to provide an independent review based on the broadest possible public examination of the facts—as is the clear intent of the law.”
Specifically, the AFSCME letter cited the scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 5, public hearing on the Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford, which was announced with little more than a week’s notice, and the commission’s stated refusal to conduct the legally mandated review of the proposed closure of Tinley Park Mental Health Center. […]
“We realize that it may not be COGFA’s intent to depress turnout or stifle participation at these public hearings, but that will certainly be the result if the hearings go forward as currently planned,” Bayer wrote.
* Study: Closing Chester Mental Health Center would cost $45 million to economy
* State-run facility shutdowns will leave nearly 2,000 people jobless
* UIC report slams Hartgrove - Findings detail violence, sex assaults of young patients at Chicago psychiatric hospital
* Editorial: Illinoisans will back those who put govt. on track
* Simon tour shines light on colleges - Lieutenant governor visiting all 48 community colleges in state