Why get up in the morning? Why bother earning a living? What is the point? Why bother supporting your family or yourself for that matter, paying bills, and especially taxes?
What is the point? We do it because we believe we have a responsibility to our families, to ourselves. We do it because it is the right thing to do.
We pay taxes in order to allow our government to provide services. We do it because it is right and it is the law? But Why? So that others can spend our money? Without regard to fiscal, let alone social responsibility? An Illinois State government department has consistently operated ‘under the radar’, and ignored the very statues it job it is to enforce.
The new Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, stated today “… The state is staggering under a shameful mountain of unpaid bills,” Quinn said. “Illinois has a moral responsibility to rid itself of this destructive deficit.”, http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/03/gov-pat-quinn-pitches-tax-increase-in-budget-speech-to-lawmakers-.html , so how does the Illinois Department of Corrections, one of the largest budget within state agencies, get away with continuing to refuse to cut their costs, especially when all it would take is implementing a law that is already on the books.
A law, 730 ILCS 5/) Unified Code of Corrections, (730 ILCS 5/Ch. V Art. 8A heading), ARTICLE 8A. ELECTRONIC HOME DETENTION, a law that because it has the word “may” instead of shall, they have been able to ignore for over 15 years. The law reads ” A person serving a sentence for conviction of a Class 2, 3 or 4 felony offense which is not an excluded offense may be placed in an electronic home detention program pursuant to Department administrative directives…”
It costs less than $2,000.00 per year for Electronic Home Monitoring; it costs between $32,000.00 and $100,000.00 per year to incarcerate a person, depending on age, medical, location.
The reason IDOC gives is “they did not allow Pontiac to close..So our fixed costs would remain the same..The savings on food, drugs, etc., are not that significant, so why bother with putting all the administrative procedures in place?”
How can they say fixed costs are not affected by the prison population and then ask the state for money to hire 200 more correctional officers?
Today Capitol Fax, http://thecapitolfaxblog.com printed this comment: “… Quinn proposes adding about 200 employees to the Department of Corrections, which AFSCME has long warned was dangerously understaffed. But he’s actually cutting the personal services budget line for the department by about $54 million. So, how does he add more workers while cutting funding for workers at the same time?…”
Forget the lives the decision affects. Forget the families, the children without a parent, and the parents without their child. Forget the rehabilitation the money would mean to the community, the community service that could be part of their release. The contribution they could make by community service, the repaying of their debt to society.
Why not stop making society pay for crimes they have already suffered, instead making the perpetrator really pay for their crimes by contributing, not taking more from an already broke community?
Call or email Governor Pat Quinn now. Tell him you are tired of paying; let them pay their debt by enforcing the law.