Prison Population Numbers Go Down, Saving State Money

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Springfield - If you commit the crime, you'll have to serve the time, and taxpayers will foot the bill.

"At a cost of about $25,000 a year to incarcerate somebody, if you look at the return on the investment, 75% of those people will will re-offend again within three years.  They go back at another $25,000 a year," said Christian County associate judge Brad Paisley.

There's now a push to help lower the number of people inside Illinois prisons.

In a statement from the Department of Corrections, IDOC spokesperson Nicole Wilson said that,"we are pleased to see the IDOC inmate population trending downward.  A reduced prison population not only saves taxpayer dollars but it also promotes a safer prison environment and builds opportunity for stronger communities.  Governor Rauner is working toward this trend and he's committed to reducing the prison population by 25% over the next 10 years."

With the help of programs such as drug courts some feel that investing in prison diversion programs can help lower the number of inmates while saving the saving the state money.

"You're talking about $470,000 dollars that I can point to, at minimum, that we've saved by doing this.  And there's another $270,000 this year, I did some numbers as well.  Just in two years of graduations, we've saved taxpayers almost $750,000," added Paisley.

Inmate numbers are at a five year low with just under 47,000 people being incarcerated as of July 26th.

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