Rutherford Details Opposition to State Closures
By Candice Freeland
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said on Wednesday he believes Governor Quinn's decision to close a number of corrections facilities is not in the best interest of public safety, and that state pensions should instead be the object of state cuts.
Rutherford made the statement in a media teleconference Wednesday morning.
Among his concerns, the closure of Tamms Supermax Prison in southern Illinois. Rutherford says inmates there "have earned" a stay at the facility. He described one inmate recently sent to Tamms from another prison after stabbing a guard nearly 30 times.
Rutherford says the average level of education for such dangerous inmates is 6th grade, and that training such men to transition to society, and for potential employment, is an expensive challenge. Also slated for closure, the Dwight correction facility for women, and a Murphysboro center for troubled youth.
Even though Rutherford disagrees with Quinn's decision to close the facilities, he says he respects the Governor's prerogative to do so.
Rutherford says he believes a better solution would be to look at state facilities one-by-one, rather than issuing a blanket closure.
The cuts are part of a plan to reduce the state budget deficit, which is currently more than $8 billion.