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Report: ARI prison-diversion program so far saves taxpayers over $75 million

Local Government

By Chicago City Wire | Nov 25, 2016

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The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority released the Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) annual report this week, saying the prison-diversion program saved taxpayers more than $75 million over the past five years.

“Adult Redeploy Illinois is outcome-focused,” Executive Director John Maki said. “Local programs work with individuals to address unmet needs, such as treatment for addiction or mental health issues, which may be contributing to their criminal behavior. This can put an end to the costly cycle of recidivism and imprisonment.”

By diverting non-violent offenders into local programs that address the underlying issues that lead to criminal behaviors, such as mental health and substance-abuse issues, ARI has kept nearly 2,500 offenders out of prison, the report said.

Incarcerating offenders in prison can cost an average of $23,400 per prisoner per year. In contrast, the average ARI cost per offender is approximately $4,400 per year.

The ARI network includes 24 programs at 22 sites. The state-funded program provides courts, enhanced probation supervision programs and other interventions with grants of more than $15.5 million. As part of the program, ARI sites agreed to reduce the number of offenders sent to prison by 25 percent.

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