Judge Says Illinois Budget Crisis Will Cripple Court

     (CN) – Illinois’ budget crisis will force nearly half the Madison County Probation and Court Services Department’s 110 employees to be laid off on Sept. 21 unless the department’s budget is restored, Chief Judge Ann Callis said.

     Callis said the state’s budget for Madison County’s probation and court services salaries would be cut by 57 percent, or $1.6 million on Sept. 21. That money pays for about 30 probation and detention officers.
     Callis called the cuts “devastating,” and fears that they could compromise public safety.
     Madison County will appeal the cuts.
     Callis said the state is mandated by law to subsidize probation and detention services.
     Judy Dallas, Madison County’s probation director, said the cuts could cause irreparable harm to the state’s legal system.
     “How do you cut 30 people and still continue to function as a viable public safety driven entity?” Dallas asked in a statement. “How do you supervise 4,000 offenders in the community, including over 350 child sex offenders and hundreds of DUI offenders with court ordered treatment, operate a 24/7 juvenile detention facility and annually monitor more than 2,000 public service workers with half a staff?”

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