Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to close a youth detention center in Kewanee will move forward, the director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice has announced.
The decision goes against an advisory vote last week by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, which rejected the administration's plan to shutter the facility.
The Rauner administration wants to close the detention center as part of a plan to move juvenile offenders into community-based programs. Such an effort has the support of groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.
Some of those in favor of keeping the facility open say it is the newest and most cost-effective facility of its kind in the state, and is at full capacity. Others have called for the youth detention center to remain open until it can be transitioned into a Department of Corrections facility.
The youth detention center's closure could produce an estimated $14 million in state savings this year, according to the Rauner administration.
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL,17) expressed disappointment with the decision to close the facility, saying the move will result in 200 job cuts.
"Governor Rauner's decision to ignore the recommendation of a bipartisan commission of experts and eliminate 200 jobs in Henry County is devastating for this community," Bustos said. "We had an opportunity to raise the bar by providing the highest quality care for the kids at this facility however Governor Rauner refused to give nearly 200 hard working men and women at the Kewanee Center a chance. My heart breaks for the families who are losing their jobs."