CHICAGO – September 16, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today made a major commitment to ensuring public safety by restoring $16 million in funding for probation services in Illinois. The restored funding, which was cut earlier this year by the General Assembly, will allow Illinois probation departments to avoid many layoffs and maintain probation officer staffing levels.
“Probation officers are critical to public safety in Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “While I am asking for shared sacrifice across state government, I will never compromise on safety. This funding will help keep our probation officers on the job, supervising ex-offenders.”
This funding restoration was made because earlier this year the General Assembly funded the Illinois Supreme Court's budget for operational expenses and grants at only 56 percent of the Court's request. Governor Quinn is using his lump sum appropriation authority to increase the Court’s funding level to 82 percent of its fiscal year 2009 appropriation.
"I am grateful to the Governor for the consideration he has given to restoring badly needed funds for statewide probation services," said Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald. "The partial restoration will help probation officers around the state in supervising the thousands of defendants who are placed on probation each year."
Earlier this month, Chief Justice Fitzgerald wrote Governor Quinn to urge a restoration of funds and, along with Director Cynthia Y. Cobbs of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, met with Governor Quinn’s chief of staff to discuss the restoration.
Probation officers are responsible for supervising ex-offenders in the community and preparing investigation reports for judges. They also enforce court orders through supervision, surveillance and referrals to service providers for treatment, education and employment training.
There are 65 probation departments throughout Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court reimburses counties for up to 65 percent of the salaries of probation officers. This reimbursement is funded by the appropriation the Court receives through the state budget.
In 2008, Illinois’ probation officers supervised more than 103,000 adults and nearly 16,000 juveniles. They also conducted more than 66,000 investigations and staffed 16 juvenile detention centers with an average daily population of 498.
For more information please visit the Illinois Supreme Court’s website at www.state.il.us/court.