Program to help juvenile offenders gutted during budget impasse

Program to help juvenile offenders gutted during budget impasse

The state of Illinois hasn’t had a budget for six months and for many of us, it’s a political debate and not much more. But for some kids, the budget impasse has meant going to prison instead of going home. The state program Redeploy Illinois takes serious or repeat juvenile offenders who would otherwise be headed to prison and gives them alternatives such as drug counseling, mentoring or therapy. The aim is to address the underlying problems for the kids and save money in the long run. Last year Redeploy saved the state about $30 million and kept about 500 kids out of prison. Brendan Kelly, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney and president of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association, is an advocate for Redeploy Illinois. He joins us to tell us more about the program.