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June 30, 2000


SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today announced the formation of a task force to plan the long-term future of a state-mandated treatment and detention program for sexual offenders that is operated by the Department of Human Services.

DHS is working with the Department of Corrections to provide a temporary site for the treatment and detention program and estimates that by 2002, the program will need housing and treatment facilities for 300 residents.

The task force will recommend a permanent site for the facility by obtaining proposals from communities throughout the state. The proposals will be reviewed based on criteria developed by the committee. The process is similar to that used by the Department of Corrections in siting new correctional facilities.

In the interim, Ryan included a $5 million appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2001 budget to further develop a temporary secure facility for the DHS Treatment and Detention Program at the former Joliet Correctional Center Annex.

"The $5 million will provide the short-term answer to a long-term problem that may include building a state-supported treatment center for sexually-violent persons," Ryan said.

In recent months, an initial group of program residents were moved from the Sheridan Correctional Center in LaSalle County to the temporary facility at the expanded Annex at the Joliet Correctional Center.

Under state law, the state cannot permanently house the program participants in a correctional center. "The Joliet Annex is planned as a temporary home for this program," said DHS Secretary Linda ReneƩ Baker. "With only about 115 residents in the program right now, the Annex is a secure and appropriate site for this program. All treatment will be done on the premises."

"As this program continues to grow, there will be a need to find a permanent facility," Ryan added. "I am appointing this panel to review the alternatives and select the most appropriate future for the program. The task force will study all possible options for administering this program."

The Treatment and Detention Center provides treatment to persons who have been convicted of a sexual crime. Under the state statute, sex offenders are evaluated after serving their prison terms. If the evaluation concludes that a felon poses a continued threat to society, a judge can order the person into the treatment and detention program for an indefinite amount of time. The treatment program places a heavy emphasis on "relapse prevention" and cognitive restructuring.

"The treatment program is designed to change the residents' thought and behavior patterns and reduce the likelihood of further acts of sexual violence," Baker said.

The Treatment and Detention facility originally opened in 1998 at the Sheridan Correctional Center. The program currently has about 115 residents, but the population is increasing at a rate of about five residents per month. The new facility is expected to have more than 400 residents by the year 2005.

"This program plays an important role in protecting Illinois residents from sexual predators," Baker said. "In the past, these individuals would be released back into the general population. Now state law allows for them to receive treatment in a secure setting."

The following is a list of the members of the Treatment and Detention Facility task force.

Treatment and Detention Facility task force

Matt Bettenhausen, Deputy Governor of Illinois - Chicago

Linda ReneƩ Baker, Secretary, Department of Human Services - Springfield

Jacqueline Buckely, Director, Cook County State's Attorney, Victim Witness Assistance Program - Oak Park

Charles Culburn, Morgan County State's Attory, Persident of Illinois States Attorney Association - Jacksonville

Fred Foreman, former U.S. Attorney - Chicago

Mike Howie, former Director of Forensic Services, DHS, Expert in the field of services for sexually violent persons - Rochester

Dallas Ingemunson, Yorkville, Chair of Juvenile Justice Commission - Yorkville

Russ Lain, Algonquin, President, Illinois Chief of Police Association and Chief of Police - Algonquin

Mike Mahoney, Executive Director, John Howard Association - Chicago

Polly Poskin, Director, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault - Springfield

Ken Ramsey, President, Illinois Sheriff's Association and Kane County Sheriff - Batavia

Kim Robinson, Executive Director, Capital Development Board - Lincoln

Frances Sandoval-Melendez, Founder, Mothers Against Gangs - Chicago

Mike Schwartz, Director, Central Management Services - Springfield

Barbara Shaw, Director, Violence Prevention Authority - Chicago

Doug Simpson, Bureau Chief, Sexually Violent Persons Bureau, Office of the Attorney General - Chicago

Donald Snyder, Director, Department of Corrections - Springfield


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