Addressing criminal justice through Adult Redeploy saved IL $76 million from 2011-2015

Hilary Gowins

VP of comms @illinoispolicy. Likes dogs and basketball.

Hilary Gowins
December 7, 2016

Addressing criminal justice through Adult Redeploy saved IL $76 million from 2011-2015

The state initiative has both saved taxpayer money and given offenders the opportunity to break the cycle of incarceration.

Smart criminal justice reform is evidence-based – and the numbers are in for one prison-diversion program.

Adult Redeploy is a state initiative that helps counties invest resources in alternatives to incarceration, focusing on solutions that help offenders quit repeating the same mistake over and over – and also save taxpayers money.

The program saved Illinois $76 million from 2011-2015, according to new data from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, or ICJIA. The program distributed $15.5 million in grants to achieve these results, which placed 2,500 nonviolent offenders in targeted programs to treat issues like addiction and mental health disorders, which may be contributing to individuals’ criminal activity.

The average cost for an Adult Redeploy participant was $4,400 in fiscal year 2015, compared to a per capita incarceration cost of $23,400.

Adult Redeploy can also reduce recidivism by 20 percent, according to ICJIA.

Drugs courts: Immense savings, another shot at a second chance

Adult Redeploy is all about enabling offenders and taxpayers to break a dire and costly cycle.

That’s why drug courts are such an important – and effective – branch of the program. Drug use contributes to an increase in crime; so for offenders with drug problems, in many cases it makes much more sense to focus on the root of the problem – drug use – instead of locking them up and throwing away the key.

James Glasgow, who garnered national attention for obtaining a murder conviction against Drew Peterson in 2012, heads up Will County’s drug court program. Glasgow’s initiative has shepherded more than 300 people since 2000, forcing participants to face their addiction head on, with 18 months of counseling, treatment and support.

The Will County program costs $3,000 per participant. And 90 percent of drug-court graduates do not reoffend.

That not only means they’re out of a cycle that costs taxpayers $23,400 per inmate, but also that they have a shot at becoming self-sufficient and independent.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced shortly after taking office that he intends for the prison population in Illinois to shrink by 25 percent by 2025. The solutions to make this a reality exist – and a big part of the equation is pursuing productive programs like Adult Redeploy.

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