* 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.