Friday, May 06, 2005

1/3 of Illinois prisoners are non-violent drug possession cases?

If this is true, this is ridiculous and a very low-hanging fruit for saving money.

(Thanks to Rich Miller and particularly the poster Yellow Dog Democrat, for posting this tidbit here in the fifth comment. I'll just copy his post)

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As I've pointed out elsewhere, roughly 13,000 of the inmates currently in Illinois prisons are serving time for non-violent, Class 4 felony drug possession. Not drug dealing, drug possession.

Is this a good use of taxpayer dollars, at a time when the waiting line for getting into a drug treatment program on the outside is six months? I don't think so.


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If the poster is correct, we are wasting a ton of money. I understand the cost per inmate is in the neighborhood of $20,000 annually (plus or minus 5 grand). So, some quick math., 13,000 inmates times $20,000 each is $260 million.

Let's say we can put them into drug rehab for half that. That's $130 million annual savings. That sure helps close the structural deficit.

That would be a great bill to work on. I wonder who would lobby for that?

1 comment:

FightforJustice said...

Drug courts are expanding in Illinois. They emphasize treatment rather than using prison as a first resort.