Rauner freezes funding for southern Illinois meth treatment program

SPRINGFIELD — Governor Bruce Rauner has informed Franklin County officials that funding for the Methamphetamine Treatment Program at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center has been frozen for the remainder of this fiscal year.
 
Rauner is also proposing to eliminate funding for the program altogether in fiscal year 2016, which county leaders say will impair the future of the county’s Juvenile Detention Center. The program serves 41 counties throughout southern and central Illinois.
 
For many juveniles, the program is an alternative to incarceration in an Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice facility. The state currently funds the program at a rate of $1.2 million per year.
 
Franklin County Board Chairman Randall Crocker says the governor is making a mistake by freezing funding and proposing its elimination next year.
 
Crocker went on to say that the program works and makes a difference in the kids’ lives. The program at the juvenile detention center served 573 juveniles from 30 counties last year alone.
 
He added that if the governor is seriously committed to justice reform, he should be encouraging programs like this and not eliminating them.
 
Crocker, along with State Senator Gary Forby of Benton and State Representative John Bradley of Marion, says they continue to support the program and are going to do what they can to take this fight to Springfield.