Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 2009
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2009 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: Sara Moscato Howe


I am responding to the Sept. 21 editorial "Prison news warrants a
better time slot" that discusses the governor's recent decision to
early release 1,000 inmates from the Department of Corrections. The
Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association has always
supported alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders
for many of the reasons articulated in the editorial. The research
indicates that to reduce recidivism and close the revolving door on
our prisons, we must provide adequate treatment and recovery services.
There is a cost to providing these needed services, but any investment
in treatment and recovery is still significantly less expensive than
what it costs to incarcerate.

However, Illinois' treatment system is already overburdened and with
the recent $22 million reduction to treatment services in the FY10
budget, we are nearing the breaking point. In order for these
individuals to be successful when they are released back into the
community, there must be sufficient resources available to help them.
For the treatment and recovery system to serve those returning to the
community from incarceration, we must be adequately funded. Without
the funding to pay for services, both the system and these individuals
needing services are being set up to fail. We are encouraging Gov.
Quinn and Director Randle to prioritize funding for addiction health
care services for this population.

Sara Moscato Howe, CEO

Illinois Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Association (IADDA)
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake