November 22, 2012 8:10PM
Updated: December 24, 2012 6:07AM
Apologize to tea party
I read your Viewpoint in the paper on Nov. 9 (“More strange results on Election Day”). I was applauding you for saying things that hundreds of your readers agree with.
The problem is your last sentence. After pointing out how many voters cast votes that make no rational sense, you say “they can’t all be tea partiers.” I am not a member of the tea party, but I agree with them on many of their positions. It was demeaning to say that all tea partiers are “strange,” “not sensible” and other connotations.
You were no better than those you accuse of being strange and not sensible by accusing them falsely. If you want to know what is wrong with our country, you have only to look to yourself. You have been unfair, unkind, prejudiced and more about a group of people you seem to know little or nothing about. You owe all tea partiers an apology.
Shutter Joliet Youth Center
As advocates for at-risk youth in Illinois, we strongly support Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal to close juvenile prisons at Murphysboro and Joliet. Lost in the opposition to his plan is the fact that the Murphysboro facility is already empty. Joliet is only half-full. Overturning the plan means repopulating these prisons with juvenile offenders who are currently looked after in their local communities. This would be a moral outrage.
Prison is not the path to successful, productive adulthood. Our interest is in ensuring that Illinois youth have access to community-based alternatives to incarceration. There is growing evidence nationally that alternatives to juvenile incarceration work to reduce the chances a youth will return to prison. Substance abuse counseling, education services, job training, and family support are successful — and significantly reduce costs.
We’re seeing dramatic impact from community-based programs like Redeploy Illinois, which has served 1,500 youth in 28 counties since its inception in 2004. A study of Redeploy Illinois between 2005-2010 found a significantly reduced rate of recidivism: 17.4 percent who completed the program were arrested on new charges versus 72.8 percent for youth who did not have access to alternative services.
Redeploy Illinois has saved the state more than $40 million in incarceration costs. It has helped save the futures of many Illinois youth. Those who want the prisons kept open are calling to reverse a successful strategy that saves taxpayers money and achieves better outcomes.
We urge Illinoisans to ask your legislators to support Gov. Quinn’s move to shutter Joliet and Murphysboro.
Raul Garza, CEO
Aunt Martha’s Youth Service
and Health Center Joliet
Illinois Collaboration on Youth