May 1, 2017

State’s Attor­ney calls for Fund­ing of Kids’ Pro­grams to Pre­vent Crime
Joins Law Enforce­ment Lead­ers to meet with Illi­nois Law­mak­ers and Gov­er­nor in Springfield

Union Coun­ty State’s Attor­ney Tyler R. Edmonds joined pros­e­cu­tors, police chiefs and sher­iffs from through­out Illi­nois last week to meet with lead­ers in Spring­field about the impact of the ongo­ing state bud­get impasse on pro­grams for chil­dren that pre­vent crime.

We know invest­ing in our youth not only leads to bet­ter social out­comes, it saves tax­pay­ers mon­ey,” Edmonds said. “We see kids that are abused and neglect­ed – those kids often end up behind in school and end up in juve­nile delin­quen­cy and ulti­mate­ly end up in crim­i­nal court. That is cost­ing tax­pay­ers in our com­mu­ni­ties tremen­dous­ly.  We real­ly know that in the short term and in the long term, this is a very good invest­ment in tax­pay­er dol­lars and also leads to much safer and health­i­er com­mu­ni­ties through­out the state.”

The group met with Gov­er­nor Bruce Rauner and three leg­isla­tive lead­ers last week: House Minor­i­ty Leader Jim Durkin, Sen­ate Pres­i­dent John Culler­ton and Sen­ate Minor­i­ty Leader Chris­tine Radog­no. The group also met with sev­er­al oth­er leg­is­la­tors who play a key role set­ting the state budget.

The law enforce­ment lead­ers rep­re­sent­ed over 300 law enforce­ment lead­ers who are mem­bers of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illi­nois, an anti-crime orga­ni­za­tion that advo­cates for evi­dence-based invest­ments in pro­grams for kids that are proven to cut crime and violence.

The lack of a state bud­get has forced dozens of non-prof­it agen­cies across Illi­nois to cut back sig­nif­i­cant­ly on staffing and impor­tant ser­vices, and many have already gone out of busi­ness.  Includ­ed are many pro­grams for kids and youth – pro­grams that law enforce­ment lead­ers con­sid­er key to pro­tect­ing pub­lic safety:

  • Rede­ploy Illi­nois – which pro­vides cheap­er and more effec­tive alter­na­tives to prison for juve­nile offend­ers and sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces recidi­vism. The steady decline in our State’s juve­nile prison pop­u­la­tion is in jeop­ardy as 24 coun­ties have been forced to drop out of Redeploy.
  • Com­pre­hen­sive Com­mu­ni­ty-Based Youth Ser­vices – which pro­vides cri­sis-inter­ven­tion and fam­i­ly-reuni­fi­ca­tion help for about 7,000 youths, includ­ing run­aways, kids deemed beyond par­ents’ con­trol, and those in imme­di­ate phys­i­cal dan­ger. Dur­ing the bud­get impasse, more than half of these pro­grams have cut staff and/or access to ser­vices.  Law enforce­ment depends on these agen­cies as safe places to refer unac­com­pa­nied at-risk youth.
  • Teen REACH – after-school pro­grams rep­re­sent­ing safe and edu­ca­tion­al alter­na­tives to the streets. With­out a full-year bud­get 15,000 at-risk youth will lose access to safe spaces dur­ing the “prime time for juve­nile crime.”
  • Par­ent-coach­ing” pro­grams – help for the new par­ents of at-risk infants and tod­dlers, reduc­ing child abuse and neglect, among oth­er pos­i­tive results. These home-vist­ing pro­grams are shut­ting down statewide – risk­ing the loss of $40 mil­lion in fed­er­al fund­ing for ser­vices help­ing 6,000 fam­i­lies statewide.

Edmonds and oth­er Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illi­nois mem­bers also voiced sup­port for leg­is­la­tion pend­ing in Spring­field which would reduce the expul­sion of at-risk kids from pre-school.  The leg­is­la­tion, HB 2663, would cre­ate uni­form statewide stan­dards regard­ing pre-school expul­sion and ensure that edu­ca­tors have the resources and infor­ma­tion to help all kids thrive in ear­ly learn­ing classrooms.

State’s Attor­ney Edmonds serves as co-chair of FIGHT CRIME: INVEST IN KIDS ILLINOIS, the state office of a nation­al, non-prof­it, bipar­ti­san, anti-crime orga­ni­za­tion of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sher­iffs, pros­e­cu­tors, lead­ers of law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tions, and vic­tims of crime.  It has over 300 mem­bers in Illinois.

Edmonds - Rauner

Springfield Press Conf April 2017

Kruger Edmonds

Edmonds TV interview

Edmonds at podium