"Joliet, IL – State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) is expressing disappointment over Governor Pat Quinn today cutting in half funding for Illinois Youth Center (IYC) Joliet. Quinn’s decision gives the facility funds to operate until approximately December 31, 2012. The state’s new fiscal year begins tomorrow, July 1, 2012 and runs through June 30, 2013.
“I’m disappointed by the governor’s decision,” McGuire said. “The General Assembly passed a balanced budget containing the money needed to keep IYC Joliet open throughout the next fiscal year. The governor cannot spend the appropriated funds on anything except public safety. IYC Joliet is essential to the public’s safety.”
IYC Joliet is the state’s only maximum security facility for young male offenders. It houses over 250 of Illinois’ most dangerous young male offenders, many in their late teens. Just two days ago, an offender convicted of armed robbery got as far as the facility’s razor-wire fence in an attempted escape.
The administration has told McGuire it intends to move IYC Joliet residents to IYC St. Charles, a 106 year-old facility, and IYC Kewanee near the Quad Cities. The Quinn administration first announced a July 31 closing date for IYC Joliet. After an outcry from the public and legislators, the closing date was extended to October 31. The governor’s action today postpones the closing to the end of 2012.
“The General Assembly reconvenes November 27,” McGuire said. “I’ll work with my Senate colleagues and Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr. to convince the governor to restore a full year’s funding for IYC Joliet during that veto session. After all, IYC Joliet’s staff, programs, and location make it the most appropriate place for maximum-security offenders to pay their debt to society and, we hope, turn away from a life of crime.”