At an average cost of $90,000 per juvenile per year, and a 50% recidivism rate, the Illinois juvenile prison system must be overhauled. Unlike the overcrowding in Illinois adult prisons, the state’s eight juvenile prisons are at roughly 70% capacity.
According to an analysis of state records by the Juvenile Justice Initiative the average daily population for youth prisons in the state was 1,113 in fiscal year 2011, down from 1,603 in fiscal year 2005 and 1,192 in fiscal year 2011. The same analysis estimates operation costs for the facilities as $92,257 per bed for fiscal year 2011.
While Quinn has already recommended the closure of two youth prisons in Illinois in fiscal year 2013, we believe that the state can close more juvenile prisons without compromising public safety. We urge Governor Pat Quinn to recommend the closure of at least four of the eight juvenile prisons in Illinois over the next five years.
We invite you to read through this blog for a better understanding of the “Close Illinois Youth Prisons” campaign.