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March 24, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Illinois Department of Corrections will received a $1.2 million Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant to improve the juvenile parole system.

The Juvenile Accountability Incentive Grant will allow the Department of Corrections to hire 30 additional juvenile parole agents statewide. In addition, four specialist agents will be hired to provide gender specific services and supervision for juvenile female offenders.

The State of Illinois has a 1 to 50 ratio of parole agents to parolees. The grant will allow the state to reduce the ratio to 1 to 24, a level consistent with national standards.

The Department of Corrections currently employs 45 juvenile parole agents statewide.

"As part of my commitment to make Illinois neighborhoods and schools safer, I promised to double the ranks of parole officers on our streets," Ryan said. "These funds will allow us to supervise the increasing number of juvenile parolees and provide personalized services to them."

According to State Corrections Director Donald N. Snyder, Jr., the new agents will be deployed to create an additional parole district between Danville and Quincy. The grant will also allow the department to establish specialized services and programs to address the unique needs of female parolees as well as improve and individualize services for all parolees.

The new district will have its headquarters in Springfield and cover the central portion of the state from Quincy to Danville and Interstate 80 to Effingham. The new district will dramatically reduce travel times for parole agents who visit parolees at home and treatment facilities.

There are currently 1,650 juveniles on parole in Illinois representing a 14 percent increase from last year. The female juvenile parolee population has more than doubled from 63 in January, 1994 to 131 currently and is the fastest growing segment of the corrections population.


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