March 27, 2012
Senator Jeffrey SchoenbergRepresentative Patricia Bellock
Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
703 Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Re: Written Testimony- Closure of IYC Joliet Correctional Center
Dear Senator Schoenberg and Representative Bellock,
Please accept this communication as my submission of written testimony on the above referenced closure which will be heard by the Commission on April 4, 2012. The proposed closure of IYC Joliet is of great concern to Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 2002, Illinois State Employees Association and the Union members, employees at the facility who will be laid off or transferred.
It is on behalf of all of the affected employees at IYC Joliet that we urge this Commission not to support the closure of this facility. IYC Joliet currently houses the most at-risk and oldest youth offenders in the State. These are also the offenders with the most long term and repeated criminology in the State. However, IYC Joliet has been an active leader and has efficiently promoted and advanced pro-active measures to reduce recidivism, youth on youth assaults, and youth on employee assaults. Through the exceptional work of the employees at IYC Joliet they have also seen fewer incidences requiring use of force, use of restraints, and use of confinement. Bottom line- IYC Joliet is getting the job done and accomplishing the real goals of the Agency.
By closing IYC Joliet, the Agency will have to distribute the offenders back into other youth centers from where they have likely been taken due to escalated incidences. The strides that IYC Joliet employees will have made with this special group of youth will be diminished with their return to centers with other offenders that they may have had issues within the past.
It is imperative to vote against the closure of this youth center where they are specialized in taking care of the most dangerous youth offenders, striving toward turning around the future of this special group of youths. IYC Joliet is vital to the Agency because of its special strategies and efforts designed specifically with this particular group of youths in mind. It is of the utmost importance that this Commission consider first of the safety of the employees and the youth offenders across the State of Illinois. We implore you on behalf of the employees across the State not to support the closure of IYC Joliet Correctional Center.
President, LIUNA, Local 2002, ISEA
Cc: COGFA Members
Dan Long, Executive Director, COGFA