Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to see new criminal justice reforms implemented in Illinois and says he is OK with putting short-term state funds toward the effort.
"There's no question that sometimes to save money in the long run requires spending more money in the short run, and in Illinois, we haven't been doing that for years," the governor said during a Thursday meeting with members of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. "We've always taken the short-run decision, what cuts costs now and not what saves significant resources over a longer term. We've got to change that mindset."
Rauner has directed the commission to propose reforms to cut the state's current prison population by 25 percent by 2025.
"If we can implement (the commission's) recommendations, I firmly believe that we can have the people of Illinois safer," the governor stated, reported the State Journal-Register. "I believe we can save taxpayer money, and most importantly, I believe we can help those who made mistakes lead productive lives and come back as productive, full citizens who are enhancing the quality of life for everyone in all of our communities around Illinois."
The governor made his remarks amid the ongoing state budget impasse, now in its seventh month.