In Illinois, a hotbed of government corruption, billions could be saved with judicial, prison, and jail reforms. More could be saved by eliminating the 10% kick-backs to political funds expected of all those who contract with the state and counties.
If we cut the 40,000 daily Illinois prison population in half I estimate Illinois could save 1.2 billion dollars per year. We would still be incarcerating 20 X more people per capita than any other civilized country.
For every decrease in 1000 inmates from its historic high of 10,000 daily inmates, Cook County Jail could save the county 18 million dollars. What purpose does it serve to incarcerate thousands of people for minimal non-violent crimes pre-trial who can’t afford to pay a $100 dollar bail bond? How do lengthy prison terms without rehabilitation help decrease crime and make productive citizens out of those with drug addiction and alcoholism? How does using prisons as mental health treatment facilities make our State safer? Do prisons and jails provide so much better mental health care than hospitals and clinics? Perhaps mental health care is simply NOT AVAILABLE in Illinois to those on Medicaid! See:
Also the grotesque torture, medical neglect, and brutality in Illinois jails and prisons could be reduced and true rehabilitation, along with better parole supervision, mental health treatment and drug addiction and alcoholism treatment provided with even a quarter of the resulting savings. I would estimate this would also have a MAJOR impact on reducing crime and increasing tax revenues from a larger number of productive citizens.
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