Nov 30 2012

Help Us to Close TAMMS & IYCs in Illinois…

Illinois Residents, We need your HELP!

Just a couple of days ago, Governor Pat Quinn’s vetoes of funding for several correctional facilities in Illinois were overridden in the Illinois Senate.

Now advocates are pressing hard to prevent an override in the House. We would ask that you contact as many House members as you can over the next three business days (11/30, 12/3, 12/4) and ask them to vote NO on an override.

Here is a fact sheet on the facility closures for you to share with legislators. The basic argument is that these facilities are underutilized and empty. For instance, Murphysboro contains no youth, and Tamms only contains 200 inmates. Existing facilities can absorb and manage these populations. Keeping these facilities open will result in the layoff of 530 DCFS employees, while all Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice employees affected by the closures have been, or will be offered, positions at existing facilities.

Additionally, keeping these facilities open harms vulnerable children by unnecessarily separating them from their families during a period of critical growth and development. We need the money from these facilities to prevent more children from entering into costly State foster care, protect at-risk children from abuse and neglect, and provide adoption assistance necessary to place children in safe and loving homes. Cuts in critical programs at DCFS harm children throughout the entire State.

Ultimately, we cannot afford to keep underutilized, empty facilities open at the expense of vulnerable children. In this time of budgetary crisis, it does not make sense to keep these facilities open when cost-effective alternatives exist.

Please contact your House representative. District telephone numbers can be found here. Make sure to ask them to vote NO on the override of SB 2474. Please email your House representative’s response to Laurie Jo Reynolds at each day before the conclusion of business on 11/30, 12/3, and 12/4.

For some inspiration, please watch this fun video which is meant to encourage everyone to call your legislators about this important issue.