Drug Courts Affected by Illinois Budget Impasse

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- A program that gets drug addicts clean and helps prevent them from committing more crimes is at risk of shutting down.

The drug court’s future all comes down to the budget impasse in Springfield. The drug court gets federal and state money, so it's still getting those federal dollars, but not the state money.

The program is operating as normal in Winnebago County. The courts are working with providers so they can continue getting participants into treatment programs. There's a lot more uncertainty in the newly formed Boone County drug court. It's already had to cut back and limit the number of people using the program. This has a direct impact on our safety.

"They're much more likely to reoffend if they're untreated. Merely sending someone to prison for a few months or a year which is about which is about the general average term and sending them back to the community untreated you can almost guarantee they're going to reoffend," Judge Janet Holmgren explained.

Judge Holmgren says court administrators are working hard to find other ways to keep the programs up and running. She doesn't think either program in Boone or Winnebago counties will have to end.

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