Kewanee Youth Prison Hearing
The next step in the proposed closing of the juvenile prison in Kewanee is set for Tuesday. A group of state legislators called the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will consider the decision made by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.
Executive director, Dan Long, says the commission is evenly divided among state senators and representatives, and republicans and democrats. And any time state government wants to close a facility with 25 or more employees, the commission must be consulted and study its impact.
State law requires the commission to hold a public hearing, which it did on March 30 in Kewanee, and accept public comments. Then members vote on whether they agree the facility should be closed, but it's just an advisory recommendation.
The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability meets in Springfield Tuesday morning. One of the co-chairs is Representative Don Moffitt from Gilson in nearby Knox County.
State officials say closing the Illinois Youth Center-Kewanee will eliminate 200 jobs and save about 14 million dollars. Its overall capacity is 350, but last year it housed an average of 180 young people. At the time of the closing announcement in February, the count was just 95.